Verizon enters into sale agreement for remaining 26 divested Alltel markets

Pending regulatory approval, Verizon Wireless has agreed to sell the remaining 26 divested Alltel markets to Massachusetts-based Atlantic Tele-Network, Inc. The companies have entered into a definitive agreement for Alltel properties located in Idaho, Illinois, Ohio, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia, and approximately 800,000 Alltel customers will be affected should the sale be approved. The big side story here — following the recent agreement with AT&T, each of the 105 divested markets now has a potential buyer. Hit the jump for the full text of a memo sent to all Alltel employees in divested markets from the Management Trust currently operating said markets.

As you know, when Verizon Wireless purchased Alltel on January 9, 2009, you became part of a Management Trust set up to operate former Alltel CMA that would not become part of Verizon Wireless. During the past few weeks, many of you have asked about the potential sale of those properties that AT&T does not intend to acquire.

Today, I have news to share on that front. Verizon Wireless has entered into a definitive agreement with Atlantic Tele-Network, Inc. to sell properties in 26 CMA currently being operated by the Trust. These include over 800,000 Alltel customers in the following states: Idaho, Illinois, Ohio, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia.

Verizon Wireless’ sale of the properties to Atlantic Tele-Network is subject to regulatory review and approval by the Department of Justice and the Federal Communications Commission. Atlantic Tele-Network, headquartered in Salem, MA, currently provides telecommunications services in the United States, Guyana, Bermuda, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Turks and Caicos. One of the company’s principal subsidiaries is Commnet Wireless, LLC, which provides voice and data wireless roaming services for U.S. and International carriers, including Verizon Wireless, in rural areas throughout the United States. Commnet Wireless works in partnership with national and regional wireless operators to offer highly-reliable, feature-rich coverage in a variety of technical environments. They currently manage wireless networks in 14 states and operate networks with CDMA, GSM/GPRS & EDGE technologies in both the 850 MHz & 1900 MHz bands.

With the signing of this agreement, Verizon Wireless now has a potential buyer for all 105 CMA in the Trust. Verizon Wireless signed a definitive agreement with AT&T last month to sell properties in 79 CMA not included in today’s announcement. That sale also is subject to regulatory approval.

What does this news mean for you? For now, it’s business as usual for all Trust employees. We will continue to serve our customers and compete in the marketplace as vigorously as we have since the Trust was created. Essentially, the Trust will continue to operate during the regulatory review and approval process, and our jobs and responsibilities will remain the same.

Since the regulatory process will take time, it will be a few months before we learn if and when the transaction will close. In the meantime, we will provide updates as information becomes available.

Thank you for all your efforts and your patience during this process.

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