Sunday, July 29, 2007

Verizon Wireless to Acquire Rural Cellular for $2.67 Billion

Verizon Wireless will acquire Rural Cellular Corporation for approximately $2.67 billion in cash and assumed debt.

Rural Cellular's network served 716,000 customers as of March 31, 2007, spread across five regional territories. It uses both CDMA and GSM technology separately across these five regional markets. The networks are located in the states of Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, New York, Massachusetts, Alabama, Mississippi, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Kansas, Idaho, Washington, and Oregon. The acquisition will increase Verizon Wireless coverage by 4.7 million licensed POPs (population).

Verizon Wireless said it plans to deploy CDMA service in Rural Cellular's existing GSM markets and convert the GSM customers to CDMA service. Verizon Wireless, however, anticipates maintaining Rural Cellular's existing GSM networks to continue serving the roaming needs of other GSM carriers' customers.

Verizon Wireless expects to realize more than $1 billion in synergies in reduced roaming and operations expenses.

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