US regulators OK $24.7b buyout of Alltel

The US Federal Communications Commission approved a $24.7 billion buyout by a private investment group of Alltel, the fifth-largest US wireless carrier, an Associated Press report said.

The Associated Press report said the agency approved the transfer of licenses held by Alltel to Atlantis Holdings, a holding company consisting of TPG Capital, formerly Texas Pacific Group, and GS Capital Partners, a subsidiary of Goldman Sachs.

Alltel shareholders will receive $71.50 per share in cash, according to the terms of the deal, the report said.

The company said in a statement Friday night it expects the transaction to close by November 22.

Alltel provides wireless voice and data services to more than 12 million customers in 36 states, the reportbsaid.

In announcing the approval, the FCC said the transaction would not hurt competition in the mobile telephone market. It also noted the transaction will provide Alltel with fresh capital which will lead to deployment of advanced wireless services, the report further said.