Verizon Communications Realizes Approximately $770 Million from Sale of Telecom New Zealand Stock

NEW YORK -- Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) has realized approximately $770 million from its recent sale of 370 million shares in Telecom Corporation of New Zealand (TCNZ).

The transaction between Verizon, its subsidiary Bell Atlantic Holdings Limited and Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc. closed today at 5 p.m. Eastern time. Before this sale, Verizon, through its subsidiary, held about 21 percent of TCNZ's total common shares. The company now holds 1 percent of TCNZ's shares.

Daniel C. Petri, Verizon International president - Europe and Asia, said, "The purchase offer presented a good opportunity for Verizon, particularly in view of our continuing evaluation of our portfolio of international assets and our plan to reduce corporate debt this year."

Verizon, through its predecessor company Bell Atlantic, has had an investment in Telecom New Zealand since 1990.

"The investment has been a good one, and, although we decided to sell, we wish Telecom New Zealand the best in the future," Petri said.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) 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 135.1 million access line equivalents and 30.3 million Verizon Wireless customers. Verizon is also the largest directory publisher in the world. With more than $67 billion in annual revenues and approximately 241,000 employees, Verizon's global presence extends to more than 40 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information on Verizon, visit www.verizon.com.