Optical/IP Networks

Verizon Quiet on Alltel Asset Sale

Verizon Wireless isn’t commenting on a report that The Blackstone Group and other private equity firms are bidding on the $3 billion in assets the carrier has to divest as part of its agreement with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) over the Alltel buyout.

Blackstone, The Carlyle Group LLC , and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. (KKR) are all reported to be interested, according to Bloomberg. AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and U.S. Cellular Corp. (NYSE: USM) are said to be bidders, too.

Verizon won't confirm any of it. “I can’t comment,” a Verizon corporate spokesman told Unstrung on Tuesday. “If and when there’s a deal in place, yes, but not before. We never comment on rumor and speculation.”

In January, Verizon completed the $28 billion deal to buy Alltel from GS Capital Partners and TPG Inc. (See Vodafone Confirms $28.1B Alltel Takeover and Verizon Completes Alltel Deal.) Now the FCC wants Verizon to unload businesses supporting up to 2.1 million customers in more than 20 states.

The initial private equity deal to buy Alltel for $27.5 billion in 2007 capped a wave of similar PE interest in tech companies that had included Freescale Semiconductor Inc. and Philips Semiconductors (NYSE: PHG) in 2006. (See Alltel Accepts $27.5B Buyout Offer.)

Now there are signs that private equity firms are back on the prowl. This time, however, the targets appear to be less ambitious.

Recent reports have linked Gores Group LLC to the possible buyout of a unit from ailing Nortel Networks Ltd. . The PE firm is said to be interested in Nortel's media gateway and MSS multiservice switch product lines. (See NSN Linked to Nortel Asset Bid.)

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

vsomanv 12/5/2012 | 4:07:26 PM
re: Verizon Quiet on Alltel Asset Sale thats a whopping difference .. 27B in 2007 and just 2B in 2009. Is that the same asset or is there an Asset change too..

would the PEs come to pick Nortel assests, now that NSN and Avaya seems to have shown some keen interest apart from the Huawei Ogle..

(Why do we have 2 websites - LR and Unstrung, to serve the same purpose? Its time there is some consolidation here too.. You could have region-wise tabs though; LR India, LR Asia)
[email protected] 12/5/2012 | 4:06:48 PM
re: Verizon Quiet on Alltel Asset Sale No, you have it wrong...they only assets that are being sold is one set of network assets where both companies had coverage. Only @2 mil of the @13 mil subscribers are going with the sale. Vzw keeps the rest, and the network, data centers (I presume), etc.
vsomanv 12/5/2012 | 4:06:45 PM
re: Verizon Quiet on Alltel Asset Sale aah ! that makes sense
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