Second-tier wireless companies are hot properties, helping to push wireless stock prices past the Standard &Poor’s index.
Centennial Cellular Corp. earlier this month became the third second-tier cellular carrier to be bought by an investment firm when New York-based Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe agreed to buy Centennial for about $2 billion. Centennial had been looking for a buyer since April.
Earlier this year, PriCellular Corp. agreed to be purchased by American Cellular Corp., which consists of two cellular industry veterans and a group of investment firms. That deal closed late last month.
And last year, CommNet Cellular Inc. was acquired by a New York investment firm called Blackstone Capital Partners in a deal valued at $718 million.
Jump-starting stock prices
Some analysts hope the Centennial deal will restimulate wireless stock performance, which slowed a bit during the second quarter. RCR’s wireless stock index is up more than 300 points since the beginning of the year. Stocks rose sharply in January and again in March, followed by a relatively flat April and May. The stocks on RCR’s index have again been on the rise since the beginning of June.
Other mergers and acquisitions among second-tier carriers, including the merger of 360