Private Equity Groups in Talks to Buy Alltel: Reports

At least three groups of private-equity buyers have formed to pursue a potential purchase of wireless carrier Alltel, according to media reports today.

The report sent shares of Alltel higher before the opening bell.

According to the reports, Providence Equity Partners and the Blackstone Group are teaming up in a bid for the U.S. rural wireless telecommunication services provider. Both the Wall Street Journal and Reuters were reporting the news, citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter.

The deal could be worth as much as $30 billion, the reports said.

The Wall Street Journal also reported that TPG Capital and the private-equity arm of Goldman Sachs Group are also involved in discussions as is the team of Carlyle and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts.

Speculation about the sale of Alltel began in February after the company's executives revealed they were exploring strategic alternatives for the company.