AT&T is buying Virginia-based Straight Path in a $1.2 billion all-stock deal that provides the communications giant with wireless spectrum across the top 40 U.S. metropolitan markets. The company says the acquisition positions itself for delivery of forth-coming, faster 5G wireless services.
The price is expensive, with AT&T agreeing to pay $95.63 per share, a premium of more than triple Straight Path’s Friday close. Straight Path is one of the biggest spectrum holders.
Total value of the deal is $1.6 billion, including debt and obligations as well as $15 million Straight Path owes the FCC as part of a settlement in a dispute over license renewals.
If approved by regulators, the deal “will support AT&T’s leadership in 5G, which will accelerate the delivery of new experiences for consumers and businesses like virtual and augmented reality, telemedicine, autonomous cars, smart cities and more,” AT&T said in a statement.
The deal includes 735 licenses in the 39 GHz band and another 133 in the 28 GHz band across the U.S.
AT&T noted that it has been conducting 5G trials since last fall. The additional spectrum augments rights AT&T acquired from FiberTower in January/