MetroPCS (PCS) activist shareholder P. Schoenfeld Asset Management continued on Friday to put pressure on the wireless carrier, as PSAM called for the company’s chief executive and a director to step down.
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PSAM, which holds a roughly 2.5% stake in MetroPCS, has been critical of a proposed merger with T-Mobile USA. It has argued the deal would leave the combined company with too much debt.
In a letter sent to the board of MetroPCS, PSAM asked for Chairman and CEO Roger Linquist and board member Kevin Landry to step down from their respective positions. PSAM has often criticized Linquist and Landry for selling their MetroPCS shares since the agreement with T-Mobile was announced in October, calling the move “offensive” in its most recent letter.
“In our opinion, these two directors no longer have their interests properly aligned with shareholders and they should both leave the Board now,” PSAM said in the letter.
PSAM urged shareholders to strike down the pending merger and pushed to have MetroPCS delay its 2013 annual meeting until late June to allow its shareholders to propose alternatives and director nominations.
The wireless carrier’s board will hold a special April 12 meeting, at which shareholders will vote on the merger.
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“We're not going to speculate. We're confident in this transaction and the shareholder value it creates,” a MetroPCS spokesperson said in a statement. “The proposed combination with T-Mobile is the best strategic alternative for the company and its stockholders.”
The planned merger would leave T-Mobile’s parent company, Deutsche Telekom, with a 74% stake in the combined company. MetroPCS would declare a 1-for-2 reverse stock split, in addition to paying its shareholders $1.5 billion in cash.
On Thursday, the two companies said they have received all required regulatory approvals, leaving next month’s shareholder vote as the final hurdle.
“The MetroPCS board strongly believes the economic terms of the combination are extremely compelling for MetroPCS stockholders, remains committed to the proposed combination with T-Mobile and recommends that stockholders vote FOR the proposed combination and the significant value it represents for their investment,” the MetroPCS spokesperson said.
MetroPCS shares were up three cents to $10.51 early Friday afternoon.