Wireless telephony assets being divested by US mobile operator Verizon Wireless have attracted bids from at least three private equity firms, Reuters reports – citing unnamed sources. Blackstone Group has reportedly placed a bid for the assets, which are being sold as a condition set in the state approval of Verizon’s acquisition of Alltel. Carlyle Group and Kohlberg Kravis & Roberts & Co are also said to have lodged a joint bid, while rival US cellcos AT&T and US Cellular Corporation are also involved in the auction.
Verizon completed its acquisition of Alltel’s wireless operations in January and is required to sell assets in 105 markets as a precondition of the deal. The assets involve 2.1 million mobile subscribers across 22 states, wireless spectrum and other resources. The merger made Verizon the leading mobile operator in the US with around 83 million subscribers.