Verizon Wins Bidding War for Straight Path Communications, Sources Say

By Thomas Gryta and Drew FitzGerald Features Dow Jones Newswires

Verizon Communications Inc. will buy Straight Path Communications Inc. for more than $3 billion, after beating rival AT&T Inc. in an unusually intense bidding war for the wireless-spectrum holder, according to people familiar with the matter.

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Straight Path holds licenses to use high-frequency radio waves that some engineers think could form the backbone of next-generation networks. A deal could be announced as soon as Thursday, the people said.

AT&T last month said it planned to buy Straight Path for $1.6 billion in stock, including liabilities. But the agreement set off a bidding war with a telecom rival that the companies declined to identify but people familiar with the matter said was Verizon. On Monday, Verizon agreed to pay $3.1 billion in stock for the company, an offer that AT&T has declined to match, the people said.

Straight Path, which had just nine employees as of October, was worth about $400 million two months ago. The Glen Allen, Va., company acquired most of its wireless spectrum more than 15 years ago but was penalized this year by regulators for failing to build a working network.

Shares of Straight Path closed Wednesday at $223.79 on the New York Stock Exchange, well above the most recently disclosed $184-a-share takeover offer. The shares were trading around $35 in March.

Write to Thomas Gryta at thomas.gryta@wsj.com and Drew FitzGerald at andrew.fitzgerald@wsj.com

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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 10, 2017 22:49 ET (02:49 GMT)