OVERLAND PARK, Kan. & SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Sprint (NYSE:S) and PR Wireless, doing business as Open Mobile, today announced an agreement to combine their businesses in Puerto Rico, together with Sprint’s business in the U.S. Virgin Islands, into a new joint venture. The joint venture between two of the key players in the Puerto Rico wireless market will create a stronger competitor offering postpaid, prepaid, Lifeline and business services with increased scale, expanded distribution, improved network capacity, faster speed, and a deeper spectrum position. Sprint and Open Mobile will have a 68% and a 32% economic interest, and a 55% and 45% voting interest in the joint venture, respectively. Evercore served as financial advisor to Open Mobile on the transaction.
“The combination of Sprint and Open Mobile will put us in a better position for sustainable growth and long-term success in the competitive Puerto Rico market,” said Claudio Hidalgo, Sprint’s Regional President for Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. “We will be able to more efficiently and effectively run the joint venture by integrating our strong employee teams, retail operations, and network and spectrum assets to create an improved mobile experience for our customers.”
“Looking at each company and our strengths in various segments of the market, we saw an incredible opportunity to join forces in a way that will benefit our customers, our employees and our business,” said Juan Saca, CEO of Open Mobile. “Our employees will be able to offer customers more competitive plans and better wireless coverage, with Open Mobile customers having a wider variety of devices to choose from and plans that include nationwide coverage and options for international roaming.”
The joint venture takes advantage of the strengths of both Sprint and Open Mobile. A Board of Directors will be established with Open Mobile and Sprint each designating representatives. A senior management team, to be named by the Board prior to closing, will manage day-to-day operations of the joint venture out of Puerto Rico. The transaction close is subject to review and approval by the Federal Communications Commission, along with other regulatory authorities, which is expected to take several months.
Both companies will continue to operate separately in the market under their current brands until the transaction closes. No action is required by existing Open Mobile, Sprint, Boost Mobile, or Virgin Mobile customers at this time, and they can remain on their existing devices and service plans. All customers in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands can expect a smooth transition, and additional information will be provided to all customers when the transaction closes.