CHICAGO — United States Cellular Corporation today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell certain wireless properties to AT&T Wireless Services, Inc. of Redmond, Wash. for $95 million in cash, subject to certain closing provisions. The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2004.
The U.S. Cellular assets to be sold to AT&T Wireless include 25 MHz Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) and Rural Service Area (RSA) licenses representing 1.3 million population equivalents, approximately 150 cell sites and 74,000 customers. For the nine months ending Sept. 30, 2003, total U.S. Cellular revenue from these markets was $45 million.
The markets to be sold include MSA operations in Corpus Christi, Laredo and Victoria, Texas, as well as RSA operations in Texas RSA 18, 19 and 20. A complete list of the licenses can be found in Exhibit A. A map illustrating the properties to be sold is available at http://www.teldta.com/whatsnew/feature112003.html .
John E. Rooney, president and chief executive officer of U.S. Cellular, commented, “This transaction is further affirmation of our strategy to exit markets that are not strategic to the company’s long-term success. These properties, while valuable in their own right, neither complement the geographic footprint of the company nor strengthen its competitive position in its larger, more well-established markets.
“Proceeds from the sale may be used to reduce debt or offset the cost of building out several of the new markets we acquired recently from AT&T Wireless in another transaction or to fund spending requirements related to our technology upgrade to CDMA 1XRTT,” said Rooney.
Falkenberg Capital Corporation of Denver, Colo. represented U.S. Cellular in the transaction.
As of Sept. 30, U.S. Cellular Corporation, the nation’s eighth largest wireless service carrier, provided wireless service to nearly 4.3 million customers in 141 markets throughout 25 states. The Chicago-based company operates on a customer satisfaction strategy, meeting customer needs by providing a comprehensive range of wireless products and services, superior customer support and a high-quality network.