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Providence, Blackstone eye Alltel buyout

Private equity firms Providence Equity Partners and The Blackstone Group are teamed up in a bid for U.S. rural wireless telecoms service provider Alltel Corp. , a source familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.
/ Source: Reuters

Private equity firms Providence Equity Partners and The Blackstone Group are teamed up in a bid for U.S. rural wireless telecoms service provider Alltel Corp. , a source familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

Analysts have said that a deal for the company could be worth around $30 billion.

TPG Capital and the private-equity arm of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. are linked up for a bid as well, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday. The Carlyle Group and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. are another group, the paper reported, citing unnamed sources.

The companies have begun meetings with Alltel's management, the Journal said.

Carlyle, Providence, and TPG declined to comment. Alltel and the other buyout firms could not immediately be reached for comment.

Alltel had fueled speculation that it was up for sale after its executives said during its earnings conference call on Feb. 20 that the company was reviewing its strategic options.

Analysts had said that the company could be sold for $25 billion to $30 billion, with potential suitors including private equity firms and rivals such as Verizon Wireless, a venture of Verizon Communications and Vodafone Group Plc , AT&T Inc. and Sprint Nextel Corp.