The board of MetroPCS has approved a merger with Deutsche Telekom's T-Mobile USA unit, German newspaper Financial Times Deutschland said on Wednesday, citing unidentified people familiar with the process.

The board of MetroPCS need to agree the proposed deal under which Deutsche Telekom will hold 74 percent and MetroPCS 26 percent in the combined entity, Financial Times Deutschland said on its website. Deutsche Telekom would also need to approve the plan.

MetroPCS will receive $1.5 billion in cash and the two groups want to list the new company on the stock exchange, the report said. Deutsche Telekom, T-Mobile USA and MetroPCS could not immediately be reached for comment.

Deutsche Telekom announced on Tuesday it is in talks to merge its T-Mobile USA unit with smaller rival MetroPCS without giving any details, in a move that could pave the way for the German company to eventually exit the U.S. wireless market.

MetroPCS shares, which rose 17 percent on Tuesday, were up 7.6 percent or $1.03 in premarket trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

Deutsche Telekom shares were up 0.9 percent at 1200 GMT, outperforming a flat German blue chip index in thin trading due to a bank holiday.

The discussions come less than a year after U.S. antitrust regulators quashed Deutsche Telekom's plan to sell T-Mobile USA, the fourth-largest U.S. mobile service provider, to AT&T Inc , the second-largest, for $39 billion.

Once Deutsche Telekom's strongest growth engine, T-Mobile USA has been losing customers to bigger and smaller rivals in recent years.

(Reporting by Harro ten Wolde in Frankfurt and Liana Baker in New York; Editing by Peter Dinkloh and Elaine Hardcastle)

(harro.tenwolde@thomsonreuters.com; +49 69 7565 1271; Reuters Messaging: harro.tenwolde.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)