BEDMINSTER, NJ — Verizon Wireless, the nation's largest wireless carrier, announced today that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Dobson Communications Corporation's 75 percent ownership interest in a wireless system operating in Gila and Pinal counties, AZ, called Arizona RSA #5, for approximately $85 million. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2002.
The wireless system is adjacent to Verizon Wireless operations in Phoenix and Tucson, AZ, and serves as a major "roaming" market for Verizon Wireless customers. The market POPS (population served) by the system total about 200,000.
Verizon Wireless is purchasing a 75 percent partnership interest in the Gila River Cellular General Partnership from Dobson Cellular Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of Dobson Communications Corporation. The remaining 25 percent partnership interest is held by Gila River Telecommunications.
The Gila River Cellular General Partnership currently operates under the CellularOne brand name.
On Sept. 17, 2001, Verizon Wireless and Dobson announced they were in negotiations concerning the sale of certain Dobson assets. Subsequently, the companies announced on Nov. 1, 2001, that Verizon Wireless would acquire Dobson operations in California, Georgia, Ohio and Tennessee for approximately $465 million, and that negotiations involving Arizona RSA #5 were still in progress.
This transaction agreement completes the set of property acquisitions that were contemplated in the companies' Sept. 17, 2001 announcement.
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless is the largest wireless communications provider in the U.S. with more than 28.7 million wireless voice and data customers. The coast-to-coast wireless provider was formed by the combination of the U.S. wireless businesses of Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). Verizon Wireless has a footprint covering more than 90 percent of the U.S. population, 49 of the top 50 and 97 of the top 100 U.S. markets. The company, headquartered in Bedminster, NJ, is 40,000 employees strong. Reporters and editors can find more information about the company on the Web at http://www.verizonwireless.com.