Nextel Acquires NeoWorld

Wireless carrier Nextel Communications Inc. is acquiring mobile radio systems operator NeoWorld Communications Inc. for a reported $263-$273 million. The deal gives Nextel licenses in the 900 megahertz spectrum in the top 12 U.S. markets.

Nextel has already made a cash payment of $43 million and plans to pay off the balance in either cash, stock, or both, before the end of this year or in the first quarter of 2003.

According to Reuters, the Reston, Va.-based Nextel, the nation’s number five wireless telephone carrier, said the July agreement was an amendment of an original deal that it struck with NeoWorld’s predecessor, GeoTek Communications Inc., several years ago.

Nextel spokeswoman Elizabeth Brooks told Reuters the company had been barred from purchasing the licenses in the top 12 markets for a period of time.

The company also reported Wednesday it added 471,000 new customers to its U.S. service for a total of 9.64 million in the second quarter. Nextel also reported it retired an additional $733 million in debt and preferred securities since June 30, bringing the 2002 debt retirement total to $1.83 billion.

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