Defending its proposed merger with T-Mobile, MetroPCS on Tuesday urged its shareholders to approve the deal, which is under regulatory review.
In a letter to shareholders, Roger D. Linquist, chief executive of MetroPCS Communications, Inc., called the low-cost wireless carrier's planned combination with T-Mobile USA Inc., announced last year, "the best strategic alternative for our stockholders."
Linquist's letter follows criticism of the proposal by two major shareholders: P. Schoenfeld Asset Management, a hedge fund leading a challenge against the transaction, and Paulson & Co., which owns 9.9% of MetroPCS stock.
In his letter, Linquist said he wanted to correct "important inaccuracies and misperceptions" about the merger. For example, he said it would not leave MetroPCS with higher than normal debt. The company's liabilities, he said, would be in line with peers.
The deal would combine the country's No. 4 and No. 5 cellphone service providers. Before it was proposed, U.S. regulators derailed a proposed $39-billion merger between T-Mobile and AT&T.
If the current deal goes through, Deutsche Telekom, T-Mobile's parent, would own a 74% stake in the resulting company. MetroPCS shareholders also would receive $1.5 billion in cash.