IRVING, TX — GTE Corporation has completed its previously announced acquisition of approximately half of the wireless properties operated by Ameritech for approximately $3.25 billion in cash.
GTE Wireless is initially managing the acquired properties through a stand-alone subsidiary of GTE Corporation, GTE Consumer Services Incorporated, in which GTE holds a 93 percent interest with the remaining 7 percent owned by Davenport Cellular Communications LLC. To avoid customer confusion, the subsidiary will continue to operate under the Ameritech Cellular brand until the close of the GTE/Bell Atlantic merger, when a new company name will be adopted across all of the merged company's markets.
Chester Davenport, chairman of Davenport Cellular, is chairman of the subsidiary, and Annette Jacobs, former GTE Wireless area president - California, is president. Jacobs reports to Mark S. Feighner, president - GTE Wireless.
"We are poised to bring exceptional value and service to our new customers," said Jacobs. "We have worked closely with Ameritech over the past few months to implement a seamless transition of systems and procedures to ensure that customers continue to enjoy high-quality wireless services with no interruptions or inconvenience. We are passionate about serving customers who want mobility, productivity and excellent service, and we look forward to introducing innovative new services and pricing options in the year 2000."
"GTE and Davenport Cellular are very excited about the potential of these properties," said Davenport," and we are fully focused on enhancing their value to the benefit of the marketplace."
The acquisition, which includes 1.7 million subscribers and more than 12.9 million total POPs, accelerates GTE's strategy to become a national wireless provider. It adds Chicago - the nation's third largest cellular market - St. Louis and Central Illinois to GTE's existing wireless operations in 17 states. Ameritech's CDMA digital technologies are compatible with GTE's, positioning the subsidiary to offer customers digital services such as voice mail, caller ID and short messaging across a broad coverage area.
The addition of Ameritech's wireless properties also expands the areas where GTE can offer both wireline and wireless services, increasing the company's opportunity to offer customers a full bundle of communication services.
With revenues of more than $25 billion in 1998, GTE is a leading telecommunications provider with one of the broadest arrays of services in the industry. In the U.S., GTE provides local service in 28 states and wireless service in 18 states; nationwide long-distance service and internetworking services ranging from dial-up Internet access for residential and small business consumers to Web-based applications for Fortune 500 companies; as well as video service in selected markets. Outside the U.S., the company serves more than nine million customers. More information about GTE can be found on the Internet at http://www.gte.com .
About Davenport Cellular Communications, LLC
Davenport Cellular Communications, LLC, is wholly owned by investment company Georgetown Partners. Georgetown Partners was founded in 1989 and is based in Bethesda, Maryland. Mr. Chester Davenport, its Chairman, was the founder and Chairman of Envirotest Systems Corp., an American Stock Exchange-listed company which was sold in October 1998 to a private firm for approximately $580 million. Georgetown Partners' original investment was in the assets that eventually formed Envirotest Systems Corp.