The WSJ reports that private-equity firms are beginning to circle Alltel (AT) making the nation's 5th-largest wireless operator another potential tgt amid a string of huge LBOs this year. Wall St. is buzzing about a possible deal and private-equity shops are already exploring the idea. The co has a mkt value of $21.7bn and a debt load of just under $3bn.
According to the WSJ, citing ppl familiar with the matter, SprintNextel (S) is close to choosing Nokia (NOK), as its third primary network-equipment provider for its next-generation wireless network throughout the US. The co plans to spend about $3bn on the network using WiMax technology in the next 2 years. Nokia can expect to get a portion of that as well as additional handset orders from Sprint, which is planning to deploy a network that reaches as many as 100m ppl by ‘08.
“Heard on the Street” column reports that Marsh & McLennan (MMC) is expected to get a fresh boost now that the co has agreed in principle to sell its Putnam Investments money-mgmt unit for $3.9bn. The price to be paid by Power Corp is at the higher end of most ests and could be good news for Marsh's battered shareholders.
Barron’s Online “Inside Scoop” section reports that a hedge fund has lightened its load of Take-Two (TTWO). Glenview Capital Mgmt disclosed a 6.7% stake, or 4.8m shares, in Take-Two stock, down from the 11% stake, or 7.8m shares.