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Deutsche Telekom's T-Mobile to Buy SunCom Wireless

Deutsche Telekom mobile phone division T-Mobile USA has agreed to buy SunCom Wireless Holdings for about $1.6 billion, the companies said on Monday.

Deutsche Telekom said in a statement it would also take on SunCom debt of almost $800 million and it saw synergies from the transaction of about $1 billion.

SunCom shareholders will receive $27 per share, a 22.7% premium to Friday's closing price, the companies said.

The deal is expected to close in the first half of 2008.

SunCom, founded in 1999, operates in the southeastern United States and in the Caribbean. It had more than 1.1 million customers by the end of June and posted second-quarter revenue of $242.5 million.

The acquisition will further enhance T-Mobile's network coverage through the addition of SunCom's markets and customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, Deutsche Telekom said.

"With the acquisition of SunCom, we will continue to implement our strategy to "grow abroad with mobile', which is part of our overall group strategy," Chief Executive Rene Obermann said.

Obermann said in March he would pursue acquisitions in the mobile phone sector, which is expected to see continued growth.

Deutsche Telekom, Europe's largest operator measured by sales, last month won permission from the European Commission for its T-Mobile Netherlands unit to buy the Dutch unit of rival France Telecom's Orange division.

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