AT&T mulls a big asset sale to save its T-Mobile deal

City A.M. Reporter
AT&T is considering an offer to divest a significantly larger portion of assets than it had initially expected, in order to salvage its $39bn (£25.3bn) deal to buy T-Mobile USA, Bloomberg financial news-wires reported, citing a person familiar with the plan. Bloomberg said the exact size of the divestiture hasn’t been determined but reported it could be as much as 40 per cent of T-Mobile USA’s assets.

The divestiture, led by chairman and ceo Randall Stephenson (pictured), is an attempt to address the concerns of the Justice Department, which sued to block the takeover on 31 August, saying the deal would “substantially lessen competition” in the wireless market, Bloomberg said. The proposal was dealt another blow on 22 November, as the Federal Communications Commission’s chairman sought to have it seen by an administrative law judge.

The proposal, which could come as early as the next Justice Department hearing on 30 November, might be the only remaining option if the second-largest US wireless operator wants to avoid a lengthy court battle in its bid to become the country’s top mobile carrier.