After months of delay, shares in T-Mobile, the US
affiliate of Germany's Telekom, began trading publicly Wednesday on
the New York Stock Exchange.
Telekom paved the way for T-Mobile's initial public offering (IPO) by merging its affiliate with the smaller competitor MetroPCS, which was already listed on the exchange. The two companies - the number four and five in the US mobile telephone market - hope that together they will be more competitive against bigger rivals.
T-Mobile took MetroPCS's place on the exchange. The new company will still be located at the carrier's current headquarters in Bellevue, Washington.
T-Mobile has suffered recently from the loss of subscribers, although the trend has slowed down. The fused companies have 43 million customers and have combined annual revenues of 25 billion dollars. As the number four in the market, T-Mobile takes its place behind the three largest US mobile telephone providers, Verizon Wireless, AT&T and Sprint.
Shareholders in MetroPCS approved the merger with T-Mobile just a week ago after Telekom sweetened the deal. Telekom holds 74 per cent of the fused company and MetroPCS shareholders own the rest.
Under the terms of the deal, Telekom may not sell any of its shares on the market for 18 months. The IPO allows Telekom to gradually separate from T-Mobile. Its original plan to sell T-Mobile to AT&T was rejected by US regulators as anti-competitive.
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