AT&T Inc. said Friday it will acquire Dobson Communications Corp. for approximately $2.8 billion in cash.
The RBOC said it wants to get more market share among rural wireless subscribers Dobson operates under the Cellular One brand and has provided roaming service to AT&T since 1990. It has 1.7 million subscribers. The company will be incorporated into AT&Ts wireless operations.
AT&T said it will pay $13 a share for Dobson, which is a 17 percent premium over Fridays closing price of $11.11. News of the deal sent Dobsons stock to an all-time high Monday afternoon. It was up nearly 12 percent to $12.40.
Dobsons network covers areas in Alaska, Arizona, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
AT&T said Dobsons 850MHz spectrum will enhance its service quality in those areas.
AT&T said it expects the acquisition, which is subject to customary regulatory approvals, to close by the end of the year.