Report: AT&T Wireless sale reaches critical mass

Jan 23 2004 - 06:57 PM ET | AT&T Wireless, Cingular, DoCoMo, Nextel, Rumor, T-Mobile, Vodafone
Nearly every news outlet is reporting at least something about AT&T Wireless being on the market. To sum things up, we've compiled pieces from all of the reports we have heard thus far. nearly everyone but Verizon Wireless is interested. bq. Cingular Wireless - Was the first rumored party, and has actually put in a bid (all cash). The company has strong financials and is hungry to grow. This deal would make Cingular Wireless the #1 carrier in the US. bq. NTT DoCoMo - Already owns a 16% stake in AT&T Wireless. Obviously interested in the US market. However, some have said it's unlikely NTT DoCoMo wants to spend the kind of cash it would take. bq. Vodafone - Owns a large share of rival Verizon Wireless, but wants to dive deeper into the US market. It will take some time to get out of the Verizon Wireless holding, and may prevent the company from making a formal bid before AT&T Wireless is already sold. bq. Nextel - Nearly the same size as AT&T Wireless, but with an incompatible network. Would be a complicated merger. Most likely would be a stock deal, which is less desirable than all cash. bq. T-Mobile - Also runs a US based GSM network (like Cingular and AT&T Wireless) which would make a merge easier. However, T-Mobile's parent company wants to pay down debt, not increase it.