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Atlantic Tele-Network sells Alltel to AT&T

24 January 2013

ATN makes $557 million profit in three years on selling rural wireless operations to AT&T

Read more: AT&T Alltel ATN Verizon Wireless

AT&T is to buy US regional mobile carrier Alltel for $780 million, giving the company an extra 585,000 customers in rural areas of six states, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Illinois, Ohio and Idaho.

The deal is a good one for Atlantic Tele-Network, the holding company that is selling the operations to AT&T. Only three years ago ATN bought the units from Verizon Wireless for $223 million.

The businesses generated revenues for the first nine months of 2012 of about $350 million, says ATN, which owns a long-distance network in the US plus operations in Guyana, Bermuda, US Virgin Islands and the Turks & Caicos.

Michael Prior, CEO of ATN, said: "Alltel's customers will benefit from access to a nationwide 4G network, a larger device selection, additional retail locations and a broader range of product offerings. Additionally, many of our employees should benefit from new career opportunities within AT&T."

Prior said that the money it receives from the sale may be used for further acquisitions. "We have a disciplined, long-term approach to managing our portfolio and intend to balance the use of the after-tax proceeds among new acquisition opportunities, a possible reduction in debt outstanding, investments in our existing lines of business and returns to shareholders through dividends," he said.

Verizon Wireless bought most of Alltel in 2008 for $28 billion, but as a condition of the deal had to sell the business in 105 markets. AT&T bought 79 of those, with 1.5 million customers, in 2009 and ATN bought the rest in 2010.

More from GTB 
Paetec shareholders OK sale to Windstream 31 Oct 2011
Windstream to buy fibre operator for $782m 18 Aug 2010
Atlantic Tele-Net gets loan for Alltel deal 26 Jan 2010
Verizon Wireless moves into US lead following Alltel takeover 11 Jan 2009




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