T-Mobile USA CEO John Legere is trying to rebrand the nation's No. 4 wireless carrier as the only one seeking not to pull the wool over unsuspecting customers' eyes. By using some colorful language in his characterization of the other mobile operators' pricing policies in January at the CES, Legere is branding himself as an unfiltered straight-shooter.
And Legere has continued along that path in his remarks yesterday regarding his company's proposed merger with MetroPCS (NASDAQ:TMUS), a transaction that has seen some vocal and insistent opposition from unhappy shareholders.
The merger has already passed regulatory scrutiny from the Federal Communications Commission, the Department of Justice, and the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, but still has to be approved by shareholders in a vote taken at a special meeting to be held on April 12.
Legere was asked about the merger's prospects at yesterday's T-Mobile event. The proceedings were focused on kicking off T-Mobile's new LTE network, touting the iPhone, and announcing its new "Uncarrier" pricing policies.
"It will be approved," Legere said of the merger, "despite the greedy hedge funds that are trying to take a double-dip out of that process."
He was referring to Paulson & Co., controller of 9.9% of outstanding MetroPCS shares, and P. Schoenfeld Asset Management, or PSAM, controller of 2% of MetroPCS shares.
Paulson has already flatly said he will vote against the proposed deal as it is currently structured, and PSAM has filed a series of proxy statements with the Securities and Exchange Commission imploring other shareholders to vote the transaction down.
In addition, PSAM, has also called for the resignations of MetroPCS Chairman and CEO Roger Linquist, as well as director Kevin Landry, for "aggressively selling down their positions in PCS stock while simultaneously recommending the T-Mobile transaction to PCS stockholders."
"I get what they are doing," Legere said. "If you are an investor, and it's before the vote, you are rattling your saber around to get more money."
If this is just the beginning of John Legere's open-mouth policy, he may become the most interesting communications executive since... well, since DISH Network's Charlie Ergen.