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After a bit of wavering back and forth, MetroPCS’ largest shareholder, John Paulson officially voiced his opposition to the T-Mobile/MetroPCS merger. Paulson argues that any deal in its current form would saddle the new company with too much debt. Paulson’s firm holds a 9.9% stake in MetroPCS, making it the largest shareholder.
“We believe MetroPCS is worth more as a stand-alone company,” the firm, founded by the billionaire hedge fund manager John Paulson, said in a statement.
Since the announcement of the merger, MetroPCS stock is down around 32 percent. Paulson has outlined several issues he has with the proposed merger, including T-Mobile’s “poor” performance as of late. However, as Paulson has previously stated he would support the merger if the deal was revamped to cut the joint company’s debt by $6.6 billion and lower its interest rate to 4.2 percent.
“Indeed, Paulson believes this lower debt and lower interest rate will result in a significantly improved multiple for MetroPCS/T-Mobile, increasing the economic return not only to MetroPCS shareholders, but also to 74% owner Deutsche Telekom,” he wrote.
The boards of both MetroPCS and Deustche Telekom continue to support the merger with recent comments indicating the deal could close as early as next month. The MetroPCS board is expected to vote on the merger deal March 28th.