updated 7/11/2005 1:16:43 PM ET 2005-07-11T17:16:43

Sprint Corp. said Monday that it agreed to acquire U.S. Unwired Inc., a Louisiana-based Sprint affiliate, for about $1.3 billion in cash.

The companies said they will also seek an immediate stay of litigation pending in U.S. District Court, including U.S. Unwired’s request for an injunction seeking to block Sprint’s planned merger with Nextel Communications Inc.

Under the deal, Sprint will launch a tender offer to buy all of U.S. Unwired’s outstanding common stock at $6.25 apiece, a slight 1.5 percent premium to U.S. Unwired’s closing price of $6.16 on Friday.

Shareholders owning about 27.3 percent of U.S. Unwired, which is based in Lake Charles, La., have agreed to tender their shares and vote in favor of the acquisition, Sprint said.

Following the tender offer, any remaining shares will be purchased at the same price, Sprint said. The company is also assuming about $266 million in debt as part of the transaction, which is expected to close during the third quarter.

U.S. Unwired serves more than 500,000 wireless subscribers in nine states. The company has about 600 employees and generated revenue of $408 million in 2004.

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