UPDATE 1-Verizon hires Loop Capital for spectrum sale
May 21 (Reuters) - Verizon Wireless said on Monday it hired Loop Capital as a second adviser for a proposed sale of wireless spectrum, a move seen as an attempt to help it gain regulatory approval for its controversial plan to buy $3.9 billion of airwaves from cable companies.
The joint venture of Verizon Communications and Vodafone Group Plc has said it would sell some wireless airwaves as long as the Federal Communications Commission approves its plan to buy airwaves from cable companies including Comcast Corp.
The FCC is reviewing the cable deal, which has attracted sharp opposition from smaller rivals such as Sprint Nextel and T-Mobile USA.
Loop Capital, a minority-owned investment bank, will act as co-advisor along with Stephens Inc, which was announced as an advisor on April 18, Verizon Wireless said.
Verizon Wireless has seen a lot of interest in the assets so far from a wide range of potential bidders, according to Chad Crank, the head of telecoms and media at Stephens.
"We have a large group of interested parties and they range anywhere from large telecom service providers to regional wireline players to technology firms and others," said Crank who declined to give more details.
Some analysts see companies such as AT&T Inc and MetroPCS Communications as potential bidders for the spectrum from market leader Verizon Wireless.
T-Mobile USA, a unit of Deutsche Telekom, has said it is not interested in the spectrum Verizon Wireless wants to sell.
Sprint Nextel has said it is worried about the top two mobile providers, Verizon Wireless and AT&T, further consolidating their dominant positions if regulators allow them to buy more spectrum.
Verizon Wireless said it expects both Stephens and Loop to reach out to a wide range of potential bidders "including minority-owned and female-owned businesses."
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