T-Mobile USA, MetroPCS fuel merger optimism with board appointments

T-Mobile USA and MetroPCS have announced that Timotheus Hoettges will chair the board of the combined company on completion of their merger.

Hoettges currently serves as chief financial officer of Deutsche Telekom (Bonn, Germany), T-Mobile USA’s parent company, but is set to take over from Rene Obermann as the German operator’s chief executive at the beginning of 2014.

Obermann is moving to Dutch cable company Ziggo (Utrecht, Netherlands), having expressed a desire to be more involved in “operational activities” than he has been as Deutsche Telekom’s boss.

T-Mobile USA and MetroPCS have announced that Timotheus Hoettges will chair the board of the combined company on completion of their merger.

Hoettges currently serves as chief financial officer of Deutsche Telekom (Bonn, Germany), T-Mobile USA’s parent company, but is set to take over from Rene Obermann as the German operator’s chief executive at the beginning of 2014.

Obermann is moving to Dutch cable company Ziggo (Utrecht, Netherlands), having expressed a desire to be more involved in “operational activities” than he has been as Deutsche Telekom’s boss.

Even so, Obermann was one of ten other executives named to the T-Mobile USA/MetroPCS board, which is also to include John Legere, the current chief executive of T-Mobile USA (Bellevue, WA, USA).

As specified in the Business Combination Agreement, two MetroPCS (Richardson, TX, USA) directors – in the form of W. Michael Barnes and James N. Perry, Jr. – will also hold seats.

In a statement published on its website, T-Mobile USA said the appointments represented an “impressive and diverse group of individuals [with] a wide variety of expertise, qualifications, attributes and skills”.

The appointment of board members shows the companies are confident the merger will proceed even though two prominent MetroPCS shareholders have promised to oppose the deal in a shareholder vote scheduled for 12 April.

P. Schoenfeld Asset Management (New York City, NY, USA), which owns 1.66% of MetroPCS shares, and Paulson & Co. (New York City, NY, USA), which is the largest shareholder with a 9.9% stake, say the current terms of the merger – under which MetroPCS shareholders will own 24% of the combined company and Deutsche Telekom the remainder – do not represent good value.

As yet, however, no other MetroPCS shareholders have joined their cause.

Regulatory authorities have already given their assent to the transaction, which is aimed at creating a stronger rival to market leaders Verizon Wireless (New York City, NY, USA) and AT&T (Dallas, TX, USA) in the country’s mobile-phone market.