NEW YORK and BEDMINSTER, NJ — Price Communications [NYSE: PR] and Verizon Wireless today announced that the timing of a planned Verizon Wireless IPO would preclude the completion of a transaction between the companies under the terms of their original agreement struck in November, 2000.
Both parties still seek the completion of a transaction, but due to the IPO delay the companies said that they have begun discussions to explore alternative terms, including the use of new forms of consideration, under which Verizon Wireless would seek to acquire Price Communications' wireless business covering 3.4 million POPS (Population Served) in 16 Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina and Florida markets.
Under terms of the prior deal announced Nov. 15, 2000, the transaction was conditioned upon the completion of the previously announced initial public offering of Verizon Wireless' common stock. Verizon Wireless was to acquire Price Communications Wireless for $2.06 billion, $1.5 billion of which was to be paid in Verizon Wireless common stock and the balance represented by the assumption or redemption of Price Communications Wireless debt.
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) and Vodafone Group Plc (NYSE and LSE: VOD), owners of Verizon Wireless, had previously indicated that Verizon Wireless would proceed with its planned IPO when market conditions were favorable. The agreement permits either party to terminate the deal if the closing does not occur by Sept. 30, 2001. The companies acknowledged that the current transaction cannot be completed by September 30th and stated that they had begun discussions to explore alternative forms of consideration and other terms for an acquisition of the Price Communications wireless business under current market conditions.
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless is the largest wireless communications provider in the U.S. with more than 28 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), including Bell Atlantic Mobile, AirTouch Cellular, GTE Wireless and PrimeCo Personal Communications. 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.
About Price Communications Price Communications Corporation operates cellular telephone systems in sixteen licensed service areas in Florida, Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina, covering approximately 3.3 million net POPs. It operates under the CELLULARONE® service mark and participates in the North American Cellular Network. It began operation of cellular properties in 1988. Price Communications Corporation is a New York Stock Exchange public company. It is also traded on the Chicago Stock Exchange (symbol: PR.M), the Boston Stock Exchange (symbol: PR.B), the Pacific Stock Exchange (symbol: PR.P), and trades in Euros on the Frankfurt and Munich Stock Exchanges. It is headquartered in New York City.