AT&T said Friday it will pay $2.35 billion in cash to buy wireless assets from Verizon Wireless in 18 states.
The purchase covers licenses, network assets and 1.5 million Verizon subscribers who are primarily in rural areas in California, Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia and Wyoming.
The transaction primarily represents former Alltel assets, but also includes assets from Verizon and the former Rural Cellular Corp. The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter.
AT&T said it expects network conversion and operations transition to take no more than 12 months from closing and to result in an additional planned capital investment of about $400 million over 2009 and 2010.
Separately, AT&T said it reached an agreement to sell certain Centennial Communications Corp. wireless assets in five service areas in Louisiana and Mississippi to Verizon for $240 million, and that the sale will resolve certain possible overlap issues between AT&T’s and Centennial’s properties. AT&T announced it was buying the Centennial assets in November last year, pending regulatory approval. Verizon’s purchase of the assets is dependent on regulatory approval and is expected to close in the fourth quarter.
AT&T Inc. is based in Dallas. Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications and Vodafone.
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