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Sprint Nextel buys reseller for $4.3 billion

As part of the deal, Sprint Nextel and Alamosa, its largest PCS affiliate, will seek a stay of litigation.

Sprint Nextel has agreed to buy wireless affiliate Alamosa Holdings for $4.3 billion in cash.

The acquisition, announced Monday, includes the assumption of $900 million in debt. Alamosa is based in Lubbock, Texas, and provides Sprint PCS service in 19 states to about 1.49 million wireless subscribers.

As part of the deal, Sprint Nextel and Alamosa, its largest PCS affiliate, will seek a stay of litigation, which is pending in the Delaware Court of Chancery. Alamosa and several other Sprint PCS resellers filed suit against the company earlier this summer claiming that Sprint would violate the company's agreement not to compete with affiliates in their territory by selling Nextel-branded services. Sprint completed its $35 billion merger with Nextel in August.

Alamosa is the fourth affiliate that Sprint Nextel has acquired since its merger with Nextel. It bought U.S. Unwired, based in Lake Charles, La. for $1.3 billion; Gulf Coast Wireless, based in Baton Rouge, La., for $287.5 million; and IWO Holdings based in Albany, N.Y., for $427 million.

The deal with Alamosa is expected to close in the first quarter of 2006.