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American Mobile Bidding Contest Escalates

April 20, 1993

A bidding contest for shares of American Mobile Systems Inc. in Woodland Hills has escalated with a new offer from Transit Communications Corp.

Transit, based in Atlanta, has offered to buy at least 8.75 million newly issued shares of American Mobile in exchange for about $8.50 a share in cash and in mobile-radio properties, or a total of $76 million. Both companies provide radio-dispatch and mobile-radio services.

However, American Mobile last month signed a tentative agreement to sell a 57% stake in the company to Fleet Call Inc., another mobile-radio concern in Rutherford, N.J., for $7 a share in cash and mobile-radio properties in Florida.

American Mobile said any deal with Transit would require Fleet Call's approval. Richard Somers, American Mobile's president, said he could not comment about Fleet Call's position on the latest Transit bid.

Somers said if both deals went through, American Mobile would have about 26 million shares outstanding, of which Transit would own 34.5%, Fleet Call would own 27.5% and current American Mobile holders would own 26%.

The remaining 12% would be owned by JCC Holdings Inc., another Georgia-based provider of radio-dispatch services, based on an earlier merger agreement that was reached in February between American Mobile, Transit and JCC. (The percentages also exclude an option tentatively granted to Fleet Call for an additional 1.8 million shares.)

The bidding contest reflects the industry's effort to build mobile communications networks that might one day rival the established cellular-phone industry. The companies want to combine mobile radio and new digital technology to offer mobile-telephone service across broad geographic networks.

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