GTE intends to acquire CANTV shares in IPO

STAMFORD, Conn. -- In connection with the public offering of the common shares

of Compania Anonima Nacional Telefonos de Venezuela (CANTV), GTE today

announced its intention to acquire up to $200 million of these shares, and placed an

order with the global coordinators, Lehman Brothers and SBC Warburg, for the


These shares would be acquired at a price within the $21.50-$24.50 per

American Depository Share price range indicated in the preliminary prospectus.

CANTV was privatized in 1991 through the sale of 40 percent of the company

and operating control to VenWorld, a consortium that is 51 percent owned by


Through this consortium, GTE currently owns 20.4 percent of CANTV. Since the

privatization, CANTV's lines in-service have grown by more than 60 percent.

The network has been extensively modernized, many new products have been

introduced and service quality has improved.

"We are extremely pleased with CANTV's progress and remain committed to

Venezuela and optimistic about its future," said GTE Chairman and Chief

Executive Officer Charles R. Lee. "We are seeing an improvement in both the

country and the company, and believe GTE's further investment makes good sense

for our shareholders and reinforces our commitment to Venezuela," he added.