Bell Atlantic and Metromedia Fiber Network
Consummate Strategic Relationship
March 7, 2000
NEW YORK-- Bell Atlantic (NYSE:BEL) announced today it has invested approximately $1.7 billion in Metromedia Fiber Network Inc. (NASDAQ:MFNX) completing the investment portion of their previously announced strategic relationship.
Bell Atlantic also entered into an agreement in October 1999 to acquire MFN dark fiber
and related services over a five-year period. That agreement is valued at $550 million.
Bell Atlantic's investment will enable MFN to accelerate its build-out of broadband local
loop infrastructure in 67 metropolitan areas in the United States and abroad, and allow
Bell Atlantic to provide seamless end-to-end broadband services domestically and to
certain international locations.
Bell Atlantic acquired approximately 9.5 percent of MFN by investing about $715 million to purchase newly issued shares of class A common stock. Bell Atlantic also bought approximately $975 million in subordinated debt securities convertible into additional shares of class A common stock at a conversion price of $34 per share, or an additional 9.6 percent of MFN. MFN will use this new cash infusion to accelerate the build out of its nationwide dark fiber infrastructure as well as to enter new markets in the United States and internationally.
Dark fiber is fiber-optic cable without any of the electronic or optical equipment necessary to use the fiber for transmission.
"Our relationship with MFN will help us to speed exciting next generation network
solutions to our customers," said Frederic V. Salerno, senior executive vice
president and chief financial officer of Bell Atlantic. "At the same time our
investment is creating tremendous new value for our shareholders."
Stephen Garofalo, chairman of MFN, said, "I am very pleased that we are able to
make this significant step forward in our relationship with Bell Atlantic. With the
completion of this agreement, we will be able to expedite the global expansion of our end-
to-end pure photonic infrastructure. Bell Atlantic will not only be a premier customer, but an important anchor tenant."
About Bell Atlantic
Bell Atlantic is at the forefront of the new communications and information industry. With 44 million telephone access lines and 12 million wireless customers worldwide, Bell Atlantic companies are premier providers of advanced wireline voice and data services, market leaders in wireless services and the world's largest publishers of directory information. Bell Atlantic companies are also among the world's largest investors in high-growth global communications markets, with operations and investments in 23 countries.
About Metromedia Fiber Network
Metromedia Fiber Network is building metropolitan fiber optic infrastructure in the local loop in strategic Tier One markets, enabling technologically sophisticated organizations to implement the latest data, video, internet and multimedia applications. By offering virtually unlimited, unmetered bandwidth at a fixed cost, Metromedia Fiber Network is eliminating the bandwidth barrier and redefining the way broadband capacity is sold. For more information about Metromedia Fiber Network, please visit the company's Web site at
This news release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. Factors that could cause or contribute to such risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, general economic and business conditions, competition, changes in technology and methods of marketing, and various other factors beyond the Company's control. This also includes such factors as described from time to time in the SEC reports filed by Metromedia Fiber Network, including the most recently filed Forms 10-K, 10-Q and S-3.