NEW YORK Alltel Corp. (AT.N) has stepped up efforts to sell itself to carriers such as AT&T Inc. (T.N), Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ.N) and Sprint Nextel Corp. (S.N), said people familiar with the matter, as the Little Rock, Ark.-based wireless company tries to chart a new future, The Wall Street Journal reported.
In recent weeks, Alltel has made overtures to AT&T, and the San Antonio-based telecom giant has been willing to entertain the possibility, people familiar with the matter said, the Journal reported. AT&T remains skeptical about a combination because of potential antitrust problems, technology-integration issues and Alltel's stock-market capitalization, which Friday stood at nearly $22 billion, the Journal said.
Verizon and several private-equity firms also have considered buying the nation's fifth-largest wireless operator by subscribers, people familiar with the matter said, the Journal reported. Overall buyer interest is said to have been lukewarm, but the efforts are in their earliest stages, the Journal said.