NEW YORK -- Shares of T-Mobile USA Inc., the new-born combination of T-Mobile USA and MetroPCS, rose briskly on Wednesday in their first day of trading.
The stock was at $16.55 in morning trading, up 30 cents from the open.
The deal was structured as a reverse merger. The larger T-Mobile USA, which was a wholly owned subsidiary of Germany's Deutsche Telekom AG and thus lacked its own stock listing, was "acquired" by the smaller MetroPCS Communications Inc. and inherited its stock listing. However, Deutsche Telekom owns 74 percent of the new, combined company.
The stock is trading under a new ticker symbol, "TMUS," on the New York Stock Exchange.
T-Mobile, the No. 4 U.S. cellphone carrier, is adding 9 million MetroPCS customers to its own 34 million. The combined company will still lag No. 3 Sprint Nextel Corp. in size.
No immediate changes are expected for customers of either company, and T-Mobile plans to keep the "MetroPCS" brand. Over the next two years, however, the company will shut down MetroPCS's network, which means MetroPCS phones will eventually stop working. T-Mobile will use the space freed up on the airwaves to boost its own coverage and data speeds.
MetroPCS shareholders got $4.08 in cash and half a TMUS share for each MetroPCS share.
MetroPCS's board agreed to sell to T-Mobile in October, but shareholders and shareholder advisory firms called the offer inadequate. T-Mobile improved its bid three weeks ago by reducing the amount of debt it would transfer to the new company and lowering the interest rate on the debt. The improved offer won shareholder approval last week.
The combined company's president and CEO is John Legere, and T-Mobile is keeping its headquarters in Bellevue, Wash. Former MetroPCS Vice Chairman and Chief Financial Officer J. Braxton Carter will serve as CFO, and the company is retaining a "significant presence" at MetroPCS's old headquarters in Richardson, Texas.
It will have 11 board members, including two of MetroPCS's existing directors. Deutsche Telekom deputy CEO and chief financial officer Tim Httges will serve as chairman.