Verizon Set to Complete Sale of Minnesota Telephone Exchanges to Citizens Communications

FORT WAYNE, Ind. -- Verizon Communications, the national telecommunications company formed by the merger of GTE and Bell Atlantic, expects to complete the sale of approximately 133,000 telephone lines that serve 116 exchanges in Minnesota to Citizens Communications on Aug. 31.

The sales agreement was announced in May 1999. This transaction is part of the company's previously announced initiative to sell approximately 1.6 million telephone lines in the United States. Proceeds from the sale will be used to invest in other strategic initiatives.

The impact on service will be virtually transparent to customers. All customer accounts will automatically transfer to Citizens Communications. Additionally, all 125 Verizon employees serving these exchanges will become employees of Citizens Communications. The transaction does not affect Verizon's offering of long-distance, Internet and wireless services in Minnesota.

Under the terms of the agreement, Citizens Communications will own and operate all of the Verizon (formerly GTE) local telephone exchanges in Minnesota. They are Adams, Alborn, Alden, Almelund, Alvarado, Arco, Argyle, Askov, Atwater, Aurora, Babbitt, Bear River, Belgrade, Big Falls, Bigelow, Blooming Prairie, Boyd, Brimson, Brookston, Brownsdale, Butterfield, Byron, Cannon Falls, Cherry Grove, Claremont, Clarkfield, Clarks Grove, Clear Lake, Clearwater, Comfrey, Cosmos, Cottonwood, Crane Lake, Cromwell, Delano, Delft, Denham, Dexter, Dodge Center, Ellendale, Elrosa, Ely, Embarrass, Ericksburg, Finlayson, Floodwood, Fountain, Garrison, Gateway, Ghent, Greaney, Hallock, Hanley Falls, Hardwick, Hayfield, Hazel Run, Hector, Herman, Hollandale, Hoyt Lakes, International Falls, Isabella, Isle, Jacobson, Jasper, Kabetogama, Kandiyohi, Kennedy, Kenyon, Kettle River, Kiester, Kimberly, Lake Lillian, Leroy-Bailey, Lindstrom, Littlefork, Lyle, Lynd, Malmo, Maple Plain, Mayer, Mcgrath, Mcgregor, Meadowlands, Milaca,
Mound, Mountain Lake, New Germany, Nickerson, Odin-Ormsby, Onamia, Oslo, Palisade, Palo, Pease, Prinsburg, Ranier, Raymond, Scandia-Marine, St. Bonifacius, Stephen, Sturgeon Lake, Svea, Taylors Falls, Tower, Two Harbors, Tyler, Wahkon, Wanamingo, Warba, Warren, Watertown, West Concord, Wheaton, Wright, and Wyoming.

Following the sale, customers in Minnesota should call Citizens Communications' new, toll-free numbers for assistance. The Citizens Communications numbers are:

  • Residential services: 800-921-8101
  • Business services: 800-921-8102
  • Repair services: 800-921-8104

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ), formed by the merger of Bell Atlantic 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 25.6 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.