Mobile phone companies buying out their affiliates seems to be a trend these days. Sprint Nextel is the latest company to do so. They have agreed to buy the remaining shares of Nextel Partners. The deal is worth $6.5 billion. Nextel Partners offers Nextel services to people in rural areas.
Nextel Partners has had a troubled relationship with Sprint Nextel since it was formed when Sprint bought out Nextel. They claimed that Sprint Nextel violated the exclusivity clauses of their contract because Sprint competes with Nextel Partners in some markets.
It proved difficult to settle on a price for the transaction, which should close in the first half of next year. Share prices for Nextel Partners went up by 50% on the heels of the merger of Sprint and Nextel. After that, the two companies couldn’t agree on a price, so two independent appraisers were brought in. The final price is the average of the two estimates.