CORRECTED (OFFICIAL)-AT&T to buy NextWave for spectrum assets

Thu Aug 2, 2012 10:02am EDT

(Corrects debt portion of deal to $550 mln instead of $600 mln after AT&T clarification)

Aug 2 (Reuters) - AT&T Inc has agreed to buy the equity of NextWave Wireless Inc for up to $50 million in cash in an effort to expand its spectrum needed for high-speed wireless services.

In a separate agreement with NextWave's debtholders, the company's outstanding debt will be acquired by AT&T or retired by NextWave, for $550 million.

The equity portion of the deal includes a roughly $25 million payment plus a contingent payment of up to approximately $25 million, AT&T said In a statement on Thursday.

AT&T said it expects the deal, which is subject to U.S. regulatory review, to close by the end of the year. The U.S. Federal Communications Commission would need to approve the spectrum license sale and NextWave's transfer of assets may be subject to Hart-Scott-Rodino review by the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice.

(Reporting By Sinead Carew; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick)