Sprint Nextel Corp. is holding off on a counter bid for MetroPCS Communications Inc. to gain time to scrutinize the carrier’s planned combination with T-Mobile USA Inc., said people familiar with the situation.
Sprint’s board met last week after Deutsche Telekom AG disclosed a proposal to combine its T-Mobile unit with MetroPCS, said one of the people, who asked not to be named because the process is private. Sprint wants to see a filing from Deutsche Telekom on the deal’s structure, the people said, which companies typically release one to two months after disclosing deals, before making an offer.
MetroPCS stock dropped 47 cents a share, closing at $12.04. Sprint shares rose 9 cents, to $5.04.
“By waiting, Sprint has been able to remind MetroPCS investors where their stock is headed without a Sprint counterbid,” said Walt Piecyk, an analyst with BTIG LLC in New York. “This could be very useful in future negotiations.”