AT&T to pay $320 million for Convergys interests in wireless operations

CINCINNATI ― AT&T Inc. will buy Convergys Corp’s interests in two wireless operations in the Cincinnati, Ohio area for about $320 million in cash.

The purchase, which Convergys said does not need regulatory nods because AT&T already controls the operations, comes at a time when the wireless carrier is in a battle with regulators and competitors to gain support for its proposed $39 billion deal with T-Mobile USA.

Convergys, which announced the deal on Thursday, holds a 34 percent stake in Cincinnati SMSA and a 45 percent limited-partnership interest in Cincinnati SMSA Tower Holdings, both of which it got when it spun-off from Cincinnati Bell in December 1998. AT&T holds the rest of both operations.

Cincinnati SMSA is a wireless communications provider, while Cincinnati SMSA Tower Holdings is a cellular tower holding company for Cincinnati SMSA.

The sale of the two wireless operations in the Cincinnati area is expected to generate net after-tax proceeds of about $250 million for Convergys, which expects to close the sale early next month.