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Bell Atlantic Announces
Common Stock Buyback Program
March 1, 2000
NEW YORK - Bell Atlantic Corp. (NYSE:BEL) announced today that its board of directors has authorized a new share buyback program through which the company may repurchase up to 80 million shares of its common stock.
Approximately 1.55 billion shares of Bell Atlantic common stock were outstanding as of Dec. 31, 1999.
"Our strong cash flow and our financial flexibility enable us to take advantage of a unique buying opportunity while we continue to invest aggressively in strengthening our core business and capturing new opportunities in wireless, data and long distance," said Bell Atlantic Chairman and CEO Ivan Seidenberg. "Our repurchase and
investment programs both have the same purpose: to create and deliver shareowner value."
Under the program, Bell Atlantic will repurchase shares over time in the
open market, with the amount and timing of repurchases depending on market conditions. The shares acquired will be held in the treasury for future corporate use.
This program will be initiated and conducted in a manner consistent with Bell Atlantic's use of pooling-of-interests accounting and other terms of the pending Bell Atlantic-GTE merger.
The board also rescinded a previous authorization to repurchase from time to time up to $1.4 billion in company shares over a two-year period that ends Sept. 30, 2000. Approximately $310 million of that authorization remained.
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.