A consortium led by the Texas Pacific Group and Goldman Sachs yesterday snapped up the nation's fifth-largest wireless provider for $27.5 billion, the largest telecom buyout ever. The $71.50 per share offer for Alltel awaits shareholder and regulatory approval and comes weeks before a scheduled auction for the company, which has been seen as a prime acquisition target.
The preemption sparked grumbling in the private equity community, the New York Times Dealbook reports, but Alltel's CEO says the company consulted other potential bidders before signing off. To some, the biggest Alltel shocker is the small ripple it made in the business media. "In these days of mega-buyouts, it’s just one more on the list," writes DealBreaker.com's John Carney.