Frontier in the frame for Verizon wireline deal

5 Feb 2015

Verizon Communications is close to selling wireline assets worth USD10 billion to regional telephone operator Frontier Communications, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters yesterday. Earlier this week it was reported that Verizon Communications is selling a package of assets including wireless towers and parts of its wireline business for as much as USD11.0 billion. The fixed line operations were initially believed to include fibre-optic networks in Florida, Texas and California, although that particular package was only valued at USD5 billion. Whilst it is unclear what Frontier has agreed to buy, the proceeds will be used to bankroll Verizon’s USD10.4 billion purchase of AWS-3 spectrum in the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC’s) recently concluded Auction 97.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, the two companies did a similar deal in May 2009, when Verizon agreed to sell rural wireline assets in 14 states (Arizona, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and California) to Frontier for USD8.6 billion in stock and cash; the deal closed on 30 June 2010. More recently, December 2013 saw Frontier agree to acquire AT&T’s ILEC operations in Connecticut for USD2 billion in cash.