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IRVING, Texas - GTE has agreed to sell all 27 of its telephone exchanges and 120,092 customer access lines in Oklahoma to dba Communications, LLC. dba Communications, a closely-held new entrant in the telecommunications industry, in September agreed to purchase wireline properties from GTE in Texas and New Mexico. The total value of the dba-purchased properties in the three states is approximately $1.7 billion.
The Oklahoma transaction includes 140 GTE employees, all of whom will become employees of dba Communications at the closing of the sale. When the transactions in the three states are completed, dba Communications will have about 520,000 customer access lines and more than 500 employees in Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Texas.
dba was formed by the private equity firms of Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe (WCAS), Vestar Capital Partners, and Citicorp Venture Capital in partnership with several prominent Hispanic-American investors with long-standing ties to the business community and governmental institutions in the Southwest.
For GTE, this is the most recent agreement in its previously announced initiative to sell approximately 1.6 million telephone lines in the United States. To date, GTE has agreements to sell approximately 1.5 million access lines in 12 states.
"This transaction represents another significant milestone in our wireline property repositioning process," said John Appel, president-GTE Network Services. "Equally important, the agreement includes provisions for the fair and equitable treatment of the affected GTE employees in Oklahoma."
The Oklahoma communities served by GTE that are part of the transaction include:
Asher, Avant, Barnsdall, Boynton, Broken Arrow, Checotah, Coweta, Fairfax, Haskell, Hominy, Kaw City, Lindsay, Maysville, Meeker, Morris, Paden, Porter, Prague, Purcell, Ramona, Snug Harbor, St. Louis, Stroud, Tecumseh, Wagoner, Washington, and Wayne.
Since May, GTE has reached agreements to sell:
Proceeds from the sale of GTE wireline properties and GTE Government Systems will be used for investment in other GTE strategic initiatives.
The deal does not affect GTE's offering of long distance and Internet services to customers in Oklahoma. Current directory publishing agreements will continue at least until December 31, 2001. In addition, current rates will remain in effect, but may be subject to review by state and federal agencies after the closing of the transaction.
Review of the sale is required by the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, the Federal Communications Commission, and the U.S. Department of Justice. The closing of the sales and transfer of GTE operations to dba Communications are expected to be complete by mid-year 2000.
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With 1998 revenues of more than $25 billion, GTE is a leading telecommunications provider with one of the industry's broadest arrays of products and services. In the United States, GTE provides local service in 28 states and wireless service in 17 states, as well as nationwide long-distance, directory, and internetworking services ranging from dial-up Internet access for residential and small-business consumers to Web-based applications for Fortune 500 companies. Outside the United States, the company serves customers on five continents. Additional information about GTE can be obtained at http://www.gte.com.
About dba Communications, LLC
Communications, LLC, is a closely-held new entrant in the telecommunications industry, which was formed in September 1999 to acquire local access lines being sold by GTE. dba Communications is currently based in Washington, D.C. but has announced its intention to locate the company headquarters in Dallas, Texas. dba Communications was formed by Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe (WCAS), a leading private equity investor in telecommunications with over $8 billion in capital, in partnership with a group of prominent Hispanic investors whose roots are in the Southwest. In addition to WCAS, Vestar Capital Partners and Citicorp Venture Capital are significant investors in dba Communications.
In addition, dba is the nation's largest Hispanic-owned telecommunications company whose investors include: former New Mexico Governor Toney Anaya; Ernesto M. Chavarria; John Corella; William E. Garcia; Edward L. Lujan; former U.S. Secretary of the Interior Manuel Lujan, Jr.; Ron Montoya; Ann Padilla; Andrew Ramirez; Henry M. Rivera; Ambassador to Spain Edward L. Romero; and Ben Trujillo.