T-Mobile to buy Verizon spectrum

T-Mobile said Monday that it’s reached deals to buy spectrum licenses from Verizon Wireless for $2.37 billion in cash, allowing it to improve certain kinds of cellular service in markets across the United States.

The agreements also include the transfer of other kinds of spectrum licenses from
T-Mobile to Verizon Wireless that the companies value at about $950 million.

The deals, combined with
T-Mobile’s existing holdings, will give T-Mobile low-band spectrum in nine of the top 10 U.S. markets.

Low-band spectrum boosts cellular coverage inside buildings and in rural areas. It also has the ability to travel greater distances than high-band spectrum, making it a more efficient way to provide coverage at the edge of cities and in less densely populated areas.

Combined with T-Mobile’s existing holdings, the low-band spectrum will cover about 158 million people in U.S. markets including New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Washington and Detroit.

T-Mobile US, the No. 4 U.S. carrier, is owned by Germany’s Deutsche Telekom. It said it plans to roll out service and compatible phones as early as the fourth quarter of 2014. The deals are expected to close in mid-2014 and remain subject to regulatory approvals.

T-Mobile US shares rose 3.7 percent to close at $33.48.

— Associated Press

Men’s Wearhouse raises bid for rival

Men’s Wearhouse took its fight to buy Jos. A. Bank Clothiers directly to shareholders by raising its bid and beginning a cash tender offer that would value the suit retailer at $1.61 billion.

The $57.50-a-share offer, higher than a previous bid and a 38 percent premium to the closing price on Oct. 8, expires on March 28, Houston-based Men’s Wearhouse said Monday in a statement. Jos. A Bank said it will consider the bid and that shareholders should take no action before it makes a recommendation to them by Jan. 17.

Shareholders will decide whether the 5.7 percent premium to last week’s closing share price is enough to settle the struggle between the retailers, which began when Jos. A. Bank approached its competitor with an offer of $2.3 billion. Men’s Wearhouse rejected that bid, which was disclosed Oct. 9, and then made its own $1.54 billion proposal for Jos. A. Bank.

Jos. A. Bank jumped 4.5 percent to close at $56.87, and Men’s Wearhouse rose 2.2 percent to close at $51.68.

Jos. A. Bank pounced in October at a moment of turmoil for Men’s Wearhouse after it removed founder George Zimmer as executive chairman over strategy disagreements in June. Both companies have said that a combination of the two largest U.S. retailers of their kind would yield savings and boost profit margins. Men’s Wearhouse also has a lucrative tuxedo-rental business that could be expanded to Jos. A. Bank’s more than 600 stores.

— Bloomberg News

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