Friday, May 8, 2009

AT&T and Verizon Wireless Exchange Alltel and Centennial Assets

AT&T agreed to acquire wireless assets from Verizon Wireless for $2.35 billion in cash. The deal includes licenses, network assets and 1.5 million current subscribers in 79 service areas, primarily in rural areas across 18 states. Verizon Wireless is required to divest these properties as part of the regulatory approvals granted for its purchase of Alltel earlier this year. The states represented are: Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia and Wyoming.

"Wireless continues to be AT&T's greatest growth driver, and this transaction will complement our existing network coverage, particularly in rural areas," said Ralph de la Vega, president and CEO, AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets. "The acquisition will add network assets, distribution channels and 850 MHz spectrum in a significant portion of the U.S., enabling even better coverage for AT&T's subscribers in those areas.

The companies also announced a separate transaction under which AT&T will sell certain wireless assets of Centennial Communications Corp. to Verizon Wireless for $240 million. Specifically, Verizon Wireless will acquire former Centennial wireless properties, including licenses, network assets and nearly 120,000 current subscribers, in five service areas in Louisiana and Mississippi. The five service areas are Lafayette, La., LA-5 (Beauregard), LA-6 (Iberville), LA-7 (West Feliciana) and MS-8 (Claiborne). The transaction is contingent on completion of AT&T's acquisition of Centennial. AT&T announced plans to acquire Centennial in November 2008, and that transaction is pending regulatory approval.

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