That annoying character, Chad, from the Alltel commercials lives on. (See his Facebook page here). This week Atlantic Tele-Network, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATNI) completed its purchase of certain former Alltel wireless assets from VZW. The total purchase price was $223 million. Allied Wireless Communications Corporation (AWCC) is a wholly owned subsidiary of ATNI has acquired wireless properties and licenses that serve approximately 895,000 subscribers in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Illinois, Ohio, and Idaho. AWCC expects $500M in revenue in 12 months from this $200M buy. Nice! Cellular licenses are like printing money.
"In addition, ATN announced that it has acquired a license to continue use of the Alltel name and accompanying service marks, including My Circle, in the acquired markets for an initial term of fourteen years and a total term of up to twenty-eight years. ATN may expand its use of the brand outside of these acquired markets subject to covered population limitations and certain other conditions." [AWCC]
How did AWCC get a 4-letter dot com domain name? How did a company that only did $59.5M globally in 4Q buy the Alltel business in 5-states? Wireless revenue is $39M quarterly.
ATNI subsidiary ION recently won a $39.7 million federal stimulus grant "in conjunction with the Development Authority of the North Country. That grant will be used to build ten new segments of fiber-optic, middle-mile broadband infrastructure serving more than 70 rural communities in upstate New York and parts of Pennsylvania and Vermont." [TMC]
ATNI is an interesting mix: "Its principal subsidiaries include: Commnet Wireless, LLC, which provides voice and data wireless roaming services for U.S. and international carriers in rural areas throughout the United States; Guyana Telephone & Telegraph Company, Ltd., which is the national telephone service provider for all local, long-distance and international services in Guyana, as well as a wireless service provider; Bermuda Digital Communications, Ltd., which is a leading provider of wireless voice and data services in Bermuda operating as Cellular One, and also an early-stage wireless provider in Turks & Caicos through its IslandCom subsidiary; Sovernet, Inc., which provides wireline voice and data services to businesses and homes in New England and high capacity communications network transport services in New York State through its ION subsidiary; and Choice Communications, LLC, which provides wireless broadband services in the U.S. Virgin Islands."
Who will end up buying ATNI? Windstream would be my bet. Remember that Windstream was a combination of Alltel wireline assets and Valor.
CenturyQWINK should look at Leap, Cricket or US Cellular. Or how about a go-for-broke-hail-mary bankers' dream of combining a debt-heavy CenturyQWINK with a shadow of its former self and debt-ridden shell, Sprint?