Verizon Wireless Completes Sale of Spectrum to AT&T (update)

UPDATE - Monday, September 30: Verizon Wireless announced today it completed the sale of lower 700 MHz B Block licenses covering the Charlotte, Greensboro and Raleigh-Durham markets in North Carolina to Grain Management in exchange for $189 million. In addition, Verizon Wireless has begun leasing from Grain Management an AWS license covering Dallas, Texas which Grain acquired from AT&T. 

Sept. 10 - Verizon Wireless announced today it completed the sale of 39 lower 700 MHz B Block spectrum licenses to AT&T in exchange for $1.9 billion, together with the transfer to Verizon Wireless of certain AWS-1 licenses, under an agreement announced in January 2013. The AWS licenses cover certain western markets, including Los Angeles, Phoenix, Albuquerque, N.M., Fresno, Calif., and Portland, Ore. and will be used to add capacity to Verizon Wireless’ 4G LTE network, the largest in the United States. 

The Federal Communications Commission approved the spectrum license transfers on September 3rd.

Today’s transaction was a result of Verizon Wireless’ spectrum sale process announced in May 2012 for its lower 700 MHz spectrum licenses. Eight companies, including AT&T, signed license purchase agreements as part of the sale process; the other seven consist of six small or regional telecom carriers and one minority-owned firm. To date, all agreements have closed, except for an agreement to sell licenses to Grain Management, a private equity firm that invests in the telecommunications sector, which remains pending.

Stephens Inc., a full service investment bank, and Loop Capital Markets LLC, a minority-owned full service investment bank, advised Verizon Wireless in connection with the sale process.