Alltel Agrees to Buyout Offer

By David Cho
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, May 21, 2007

Alltel Corp. has agreed to be sold to two private-equity firms for $27.5 billion, the company announced Sunday night, in what is the largest private buyout ever in the wireless industry.

TPG, formerly known as Texas Pacific Group, and the private equity arm of Goldman Sachs have agreed to pay $71.50 per share to take Alltel private, the company said. That price is about 10 percent higher than where its shares closed Friday.

Headquartered in Little Rock, Ark., Alltel has about 12 million subscribers in 35 states, mostly concentrated in rural areas. The company made a splash recently by becoming the first in the industry to offer a plan, which it named "My Circle," that lets callers phone a limited number of people on any other landline or wireless carrier for free.

With its low debt and reputation for good management, Alltel has been identified since last year as an attractive acquisition target. Chief executive Scott Ford will remain in his current role, the company said.

© 2007 The Washington Post Company