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Alltel Tried to Buy Sprint Nextel Prior to Verizon Sale

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It has been revealed that Alltel Corp tried to buy Sprint Nextel prior to being swallowed up in turn by Verizon Wireless a couple of weeks ago. Speaking to the local Arkansas News Bureau, Alltel's CEO Scott Ford said that the company made three approaches towards Sprint Nextel, and even tried to buy T Mobile or AT&T Wireless.

"We tried to buy Sprint three times, we tried to buy AT&T Wireless, we tried to buy T-Mobile," Ford told the newspaper. "Some of those times we went with partners, some of those times we didn't. We were doing everything we could to get to a national platform."

He blamed the credit crunch for the collapse of some of the talks.

"The credit markets fell apart and Sprint fell in the tank almost right on cue, but they fell so, they fell so totally apart that there wasn't really an opportunity to go get them either," Ford said.

Verizon Wireless recently agreed to acquire Alltel for $28.1 billion in stock and debt. The agreement comes just seven months after Alltel was sold to TPG Capital and a unit of Goldman Sachs Group in a $27.5 billion leveraged buyout.

Scott Ford - who earned over USD140 million in 2007 from taking the company private - said that he and Gov. Mike Beebe are working on setting up new business opportunities in Little Rock, where Alltel is headquartered to deal with expected redundancies following Verizon's purchase of the company.

On the web: Arkansas News Bureau

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