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MetroPCS aims for $1B with IPO

Flat-rate carrier MetroPCS Communications Inc. said it expects to raise a bit more than $1 billion when it makes an initial public offering.
According to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the company plans to sell 50 million shares for a price between $19 and $21 per share; another 7.5 million shares are subject to an over-allotment option granted to the IPO’s underwriters, which include Bear Stearns & Co. Inc., Banc of America Securities L.L.C., Merrill Lynch & Co. and Morgan Stanley.
MetroPCS said in its filing that it owns or has access to wireless spectrum covering about 140 million potential customers, including 14 of the top 25 largest markets. As of year-end 2006, the carrier had covered POPs of about 39 million, including seven of the top 25 major metros. The carrier said it had about 2.9 million customers at the end of the fourth quarter of 2006 and about 3.4 million as of March 31.
MetroPCS’ flat-rate pricing plans start at $30 per month, but the carrier said that more than 85 percent of its customers were either on $40 or $45 rate plans as of Dec. 31. The company said it planned to use the proceeds from the IPO primarily for building out its network and to launch services in new markets.
The carrier indicated in its filings that it plans to launch service in Los Angeles this year, and in Las Vegas, Boston, New York and Philadelphia in 2008-2009.

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