AT&T to buy Alltel operations for about $780M

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 22, 2013 at 2:45 pm •  Published: January 22, 2013
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DALLAS (AP) — AT&T Inc. said Tuesday that it has reached a deal to buy remnants of the Alltel wireless network for about $780 million to boost its spectrum holdings in rural areas.

The Dallas-based phone company is buying the licenses, retail stores and network assets, along with about 585,000 subscribers, from Atlantic Tele-Network Inc. The news sent the Beverly, Mass.-based company's shares up $4.73, or 12 percent, to $44.10 in late afternoon trading. AT&T shares added 30 cents to $33.74.

The network, operated under the Alltel brand, covers about 4.6 million people in mainly rural areas across six states — Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, North Carolina, Ohio and South Carolina. It generated revenue of about $350 million for the first nine months of 2012.

Alltel was a wireless network that operated in 34 states until it was bought by Verizon Wireless in 2009. Federal regulators made Verizon sell off parts of the network to AT&T and ATN.

Analyst Christopher King at Stifel Nicolaus observed that ATN bought its six-state holdings for $223 million in 2010, meaning it more than tripled its money in three years.



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