Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements
On May 13, 2009, we announced plans to spin off a newly formed subsidiary of Verizon (Spinco) to our stockholders and for Spinco to merge with Frontier Communications Corporation (Frontier) immediately following the spin-off pursuant to a definitive agreement with Frontier, with Frontier to be the surviving corporation.
On July 1, 2010, after receiving regulatory approval, we completed the spin-off of the shares of Spinco to Verizon stockholders and the merger of Spinco with Frontier, resulting in Verizon stockholders collectively owning approximately 68 percent of Frontier’s equity which was outstanding immediately following the merger. Frontier issued approximately 678.5 million shares of Frontier common stock in the aggregate to Verizon stockholders in the merger, and Verizon stockholders received one share of Frontier common stock for every 4.165977 shares of Verizon common stock they owned as of June 7, 2010. Verizon stockholders received cash in lieu of any fraction of a share of Frontier common stock to which they otherwise were entitled.
At the time of the spin-off and the merger, Spinco held defined assets and liabilities of the local exchange business and related landline activities of Verizon in Arizona, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin, and in portions of California bordering Arizona, Nevada and Oregon, including Internet access and long distance services and broadband video provided to designated customers in those areas. The transactions did not involve any assets or liabilities of Verizon Wireless. The merger resulted in Frontier acquiring approximately 4 million access lines and certain related businesses from Verizon, which collectively generated revenues of approximately $4 billion for Verizon’s Wireline segment during 2009 and approximately $1.7 billion of revenue for Verizon’s Wireline segment during the six months ended June 30, 2010.
Pursuant to the terms of Verizon’s equity incentive plans, shortly following the closing of the spin-off and the merger, the number of outstanding and unvested restricted stock units (RSUs) and performance stock units (PSUs) held by current and former Verizon employees (including Verizon employees who became employees of Frontier in connection with the merger) was increased to reflect a number of additional units approximately equal to the cash value of the Frontier common stock that the holders of the RSUs and PSUs would have received with respect to hypothetical shares of Verizon common stock subject to awards under those plans. In addition, the exercise prices and number of shares of Verizon common stock underlying stock options to purchase shares of Verizon common stock previously granted to employees under equity incentive plans were adjusted pursuant to the terms of those plans to take into account the decrease in the value of Verizon common stock immediately following the spin-off and merger.
The total value of the transaction to Verizon and its stockholders was approximately $8.6 billion. Verizon stockholders received $5.3 billion in Frontier common stock (based on the valuation formula contained in the merger agreement with Frontier) as described above, and Verizon received $3.3 billion in aggregate value, comprised of $3.1 billion in the form of a special cash payment from Spinco and $0.3 billion in a reduction in Verizon’s consolidated indebtedness. During July 2010, Verizon used the proceeds from the special cash payment to reduce its consolidated indebtedness (see Note 9). The accompanying consolidated financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2010 include these operations prior to the completion of the spin-off on July 1, 2010. The spin-off decreased Goodwill and Total equity by approximately $0.6 billion and $1.9 billion, respectively.
On April 12, 2010, Spinco completed a financing of $3.2 billion in principal amount of notes. The gross proceeds of the offering were deposited into an escrow account. Immediately prior to the spin-off on July 1, 2010, the funds in the escrow account representing the net cash proceeds from the offering were released to Verizon. These proceeds are reflected in the consolidated statement of cash flows as Proceeds from access line spin-off.
Verizon received a ruling from the Internal Revenue Service confirming that both the spin-off and the merger qualify as tax-free transactions for U.S. tax purposes, except to the extent that cash is paid to Verizon shareholders in lieu of fractional shares. In addition, Verizon received a ruling from Canada Revenue Agency confirming that the spin-off qualifies as a tax-free transaction for Canadian tax purposes.
During 2010 and 2009, we recorded pre-tax charges of $0.5 billion and $0.2 billion, respectively, primarily for costs incurred related to network, non-network software and other activities to enable the divested markets in the transaction with Frontier to operate on a stand-alone basis subsequent to the closing of the transaction, and professional advisory and legal fees in connection with this transaction. Also included during 2010 are fees related to early extinguishment of debt. During 2009, we also recorded pre-tax charges of $0.2 billion for costs incurred related to our Wireline cost reduction initiatives.
On March 31, 2008, we completed the spin-off of the shares of Northern New England Spinco Inc. to Verizon shareowners and the merger of Northern New England Spinco Inc. with FairPoint Communications, Inc. As a result of the spin-off, our net debt was reduced by approximately $1.4 billion. The consolidated statements of income for the periods presented include the results of operations of the local exchange and related business assets in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont through the date of completion of the spin-off.
During 2008, we recorded charges of $0.1 billion for costs incurred related to the separation of the wireline facilities and operations in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont from Verizon at the closing of the transaction, as well as for professional advisory and legal fees in connection with this transaction.