Activist calls for MetroPCS chief, director to go

NEW YORK/FRANKFURT Fri Mar 22, 2013 3:45pm EDT

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NEW YORK/FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Activist investor P. Schoenfeld Asset Management LP (PSAM) stepped up its campaign on Friday against MetroPCS Communications Inc's PCS.N proposed merger with Deustche Telekom's (DTEGn.DE) T-Mobile USA, calling on MetroPCS's chief executive and another director to step down.

The investment firm, which is urging other shareholders to vote against the deal, has complained about the terms of the transaction and the amount of debt the new company would have.

PSAM, which says it owns about 2.5 percent of MetroPCS shares, said in a statement on Friday that MetroPCS's chief executive Roger Linquist and board member Kevin Landry should step down from the board, and that Linquist should also resign as CEO if shareholders vote down the proposed deal.

Shareholders are set to vote on the deal at a special meeting on April 12. The investor complained that Linquist and Landry had sold shares in MetroPCS since its planned deal was announced in October.

MetroPCS and Deutsche Telekom officials declined to comment on PSAM's statement, and both reiterated that they viewed the proposed deal as the best option for both companies and their shareholders. Landry did not respond to requests for comment.

Under the terms of the deal, T-Mobile 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's shares were up four cents at $10.52 in afternoon trade on the New York Stock Exchange. The stock has fallen about 9 percent since October 1, the day before it emerged that MetroPCS and T-Mobile USA were in talks.

(Reporting By Sinead Carew and Harro ten Wolde; Editing by Chris Reese and Greg Mahlich)

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