Tiny Virginia company gets huge payday in $3.1B Verizon deal

WASHINGTON — Glen Allen, Virginia-based Straight Path Communications, which had a market capitalization value of around $400 million a month ago, will be acquired by Verizon Communications Inc. for $3.1 billion.

The agreement caps a weekslong bidding war between Verizon and AT&T for Straight Path. The company, with fewer than a dozen employees, holds coveted licenses to next-generation 5G spectrum.

The all-stock acquisition by Verizon is expected to close within nine months, subject to FCC review, Verizon said.

“Verizon now has all of the pieces in place to quickly accelerate the deployment of 5G,” said Hans Vestberg, the company’s president of global network and technology.

The bidding war started April 10, when AT&T made an original offer of $1.6 billion for Straight Path, sending Straight Path stock up 150 percent in a single day. Its stock has since more than quadrupled.

Straight Path did not originally identify Verizon as the unnamed suitor who trumped AT&T’s original bid and at least one other after that.

Straight Path is one of the largest holders of 28-gigahertz and 39 gigahertz-spectrum, the frequencies the Federal Communications Commission has approved for the next generation of wireless communications.

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