US-based Centennial Communications Corporation has struck a deal to sell its wholly owned subsidiary Centennial Dominicana to Trilogy International Partners (TIP) for approximately USD80 million in cash, the company said in a statement. ‘This business has been a solid performer for Centennial during the last six years, and we continue to believe the Dominican Republic is an attractive and growing market,’ said Michael J. Small, Chief Executive Officer of Centennial. ‘Additional investment in this operation was not consistent with our renewed commitment to de-leveraging, and we believe that monetizing our Dominican Republic asset at this time was the best alternative for our shareholders.’ The transaction is expected to close towards the end of the first quarter of 2007, subject to regulatory approval for the transfer of Centennial Dominicana’s operating concession. Washington-based TIP is a privately owned company that holds controlling stakes in Bolivia’s Nuevatel and Communication Cellulaire d’Haiti.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, Centennial Dominicana is the youngest player in the Dominican Republic’s wireless market, having introduced a CDMA IS-95A service in the 1900MHz band in October 2000. It also offers ISP services. The operator was founded following the purchase of a 70% stake in Dominican Republic long-distance telephony and internet service provider All America Cables and Radio (AACR) by Centennial Communications Corp the previous January. With the acquisition of AACR, Centennial took possession of a 30MHz PCS concession, a local multipoint distribution system (LMDS) licence and concessions to provide a full range of telecoms services. AACR was merged into Centennial Dominicana, which is headquartered at its parent’s regional base in Puerto Rico. Centennial took 100% ownership of AACR in July 2006. The operator had 388,900 mobile subscribers at the end of August 2006.