Activist shareholder calls for MetroPCS CEO, director ouster

NEW YORK, March 22 Fri Mar 22, 2013 10:18am EDT

NEW YORK, March 22 (Reuters) - Activist investor P. Schoenfeld Asset Management LP stepped up its campaign against the proposed MetroPCS Communications Inc merger with T-Mobile USA, by calling on the MetroPCS Chief Executive and a company director to step down.

The investment firm, which is currently campaigning for other shareholders to vote against the deal, has complained about the transactions valuation and the amount of debt the combined company would have.

P. Schoenfeld Asset Management, which says it owns about 2.5 percent of MetroPCS shares, said MetroPCS CEO Roger Linquist and board member Kevin Landry should leave the board and argued that Linquist should resign as CEO if shareholders vote down the proposed deal.

P. Schoenfeld Asset Management made the call for the two to leave the board in a statement released on Friday.

Shareholders are set to vote on the deal at a special meeting on April 12. MetroPCS representatives were not immediately available for comment and Reuters was not immediately able to reach Landry.

The investor complained that Linquist and Landry had sold shares in MetroPCS since its planned deal was announced in October.

Under the terms of the deal, MetroPCS parent Deutsche Telekom would end up with a 74 percent stake in the combined company and MetroPCS would declare a 1-for-2 reverse stock split and pay $1.5 billion in cash to its shareholders.

U.S. regulators have given their blessing to the deal but the companies still need approval from MetroPCS shareholders.

MetroPCS shares traded up four cents at $10.52 in morning trade on the New York Stock Exchange. The stock has fallen about 9 percent since Oct. 1, the day before it emerged that MetroPCS and T-Mobile USA were in talks for a deal.

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