Verizon Communications Contributes $10 Million to U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Private Equity Fund

WASHINGTON - Verizon Communications will commit $10 million to a private equity fund that the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) is establishing to make investments in privately owned Hispanic businesses.

The company's plans were announced today by Verizon President and co-CEO Ivan Seidenberg at the chamber's 21st annual national convention and business exposition in Washington.

"As a brand new company with nationwide scope and global ambitions, Verizon has a major stake in ensuring that Hispanic citizens have full access to opportunities in the American economy," Seidenberg said. "The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce recognizes how important access to capital will be for the Hispanic community's full participation, and we're proud to join it in this partnership for prosperity."

Verizon Investment Management Corp., which oversees the company's pension and savings plan assets, will commit the money to the USHCC Private Equity L.P. fund. The fund will invest in small and medium-size companies operating in the United States and Puerto Rico.

"Hispanic-owned businesses are ready to make historic contributions to the economic platform of this country," said George Herrera, president and CEO of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. "Verizon's participation with the USHCC will boost the expansion of the USHCC's private equity fund and touch a vital segment of the Hispanic community."

In addition to contributing to the USHCC's investment fund, Verizon plans to spend approximately $200 million this year on goods and services purchased directly from Hispanic-owned businesses.

The Verizon Foundation also will contribute approximately $10 million this year to organizations benefiting the Hispanic community. Most of that will go toward projects involving education, technology and literacy - including the company's recent $100,000 donation to the Hispanic Scholarship Fund. The Verizon Foundation is the first and only online corporate foundation in the United States that is completely bilingual.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), formed by the merger of Verizon Communications and GTE, is one of the world's leading providers of communications services. Verizon companies are the largest providers of wireline and wireless communications in the United States, with more than 100 million access line equivalents and more than 26 million wireless customers. A Fortune 10 company with more than 260,000 employees and approximately $60 billion in 1999 revenues, Verizon's global presence extends to 40 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information on Verizon, visit www.verizon.com.