Updated from 10:20 a.m.
Saying it's tired of being ignored,
( APCS) Monday aired a proposal to merge with rival
Alamosa, a Lubbock, Texas-based cell-phone service provider, said it made an unsolicited offer a month ago to buy AirGate in a deal that would unite a pair of
( FON) wireless affiliates. Alamosa said it would pay $354 million in stock, or in a combination of stock and cash. Based on closing share prices Friday, the deal would offer about a 9% premium to AirGate holders.
In a statement release late Monday morning, AirGate chief Tom Dougherty says the company is "giving this proposal serious consideration." According to the AirGate statement, the company has hired an adviser to review options, which include business combinations as well as sticking with its go-it-alone strategy.
AirGate shares jumped 15% in midday trading, and Alamosa rose about 4%.
Alamosa first proposed the offer in a letter dated Oct. 22. Now, Alamosa hopes to appeal to shareholders. The company's release Monday outlined how the two regional players, if combined, could address a much larger market with 1.2 million subscribers.
"Since the middle of this year we have attempted to engage AirGate's management in discussions regarding a combination of our two companies," Alamosa chief Dave Sharbutt said in a release. "We decided to release the details of our proposal now because we believe that AirGate is not giving serious consideration to our offer."
Terms of the deal would give AirGate shareholders 2.8 shares of Alamosa stock for every share of AirGate. Alamosa also says it would be open to paying "a significant portion of the consideration in cash rather than stock."
Monday, Alamosa rose 48 cents to $11.23 and Airgate added $4 to $31.61.