Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Verizon Wireless Completes Rural Cellular Acquisition

Verizon Wireless completed its purchase of Rural Cellular Corporation, doing business as Unicel, for $2.66 billion in cash and assumed debt.

The acquisition will expand Verizon Wireless' licensed coverage area by 4.7 million people, and will add licenses covering markets in Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Alabama, Mississippi, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Idaho, Washington and Oregon. The company will continue to use the Unicel brand for the next several months, as it works to integrate networks, and deploy CDMA technology and high-speed wireless broadband service. Verizon Wireless will maintain Rural Cellular's existing GSM networks to continue serving the roaming needs of other GSM carriers' customers.

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

  • Verizon Wireless announced its agreement to acquire Rural Cellular in July 2007, pending regulatory approval. The FCC approved the transaction earlier this month.

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