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Nextel Gets Bargain Price On Dial Page

Nextel Communications Inc. reached a final agreement Monday to acquire Dial Page Inc. for a substantially smaller price than the two wireless communications firms had planned.

The transaction’s value fell with the decline in stock prices of the companies since the deal was initially announced last August. The firms were hurt when MCI Communications Corp. last fall reversed a decision to purchase a stake in Nextel.

While the terms of the NextelDial Page deal are essentially the same, its value has fallen to about $260 million from $700 million.

Nextel’s plan to buy Dial Page marked the final step in a drive to obtain wireless radio frequencies around the country.

Nextel, a Rutherford, N.J.-based company that develops and runs specialized mobile radio systems for truck and cab fleets, has started to convert that network into one that will compete with cellular telephones. The company hopes to become the first to offer nationwide wireless phoning without inefficient and costly “roaming” service.

Dial Page stockholders will receive 1.0704 shares of Nextel common stock for each Dial Page share. There are about 20 million Dial Page shares outstanding but that could rise to about 28 million depending on prospective asset sales.