Paulson to vote against MetroPCS/T-Mobile USA deal

NEW YORK Thu Feb 28, 2013 4:57pm EST

NEW YORK Feb 28 (Reuters) - Paulson & Co, the largest holder of MetroPCS Communications Inc stock, said on Thursday it intends to vote against the wireless service provider's proposed merger with T-Mobile USA, a unit of Deutsche Telekom.

Paulson, an owner of 36.3 million shares or 9.9 percent of MetroPCS stock, is following in the footsteps of another shareholder, P. Schoenfeld Asset Management LP (PSAM). PSAM, whose holdings represented 1.66 percent of MetroPCS shares at year end, is leading a proxy battle against the merger.

Paulson said the merged company would have "too much debt at too high an interest rate to be competitive."

It said it believes MetroPCS is worth more as a stand-alone company as it will be free to pursue its successful stand-alone strategy while seeking higher value strategic transactions.

MetroPCS agreed to merge with T-Mobile USA in October, in a reverse merger deal that would leave Deutsche Telekom with a 74 percent stake in the combined company. As part of the deal MetroPCS will declare a 1-for-2 reverse stock split and pay $1.5 billion in cash to its shareholders.

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