ATN Official Owner of Verizon Wireless Alltel Assets

Shares of Atlantic Tele-Network Inc.(ATNI) closed a little more than 1 percent higher on word that the company has closed the takeover of former Alltel wireless assets and will use the Alltel brand in its marketing.

The FCC on April 20 approved the merger; the U.S. Justice Department issued the same permission on April 7.

Verizon Wireless, which bought Alltel in 2008 for $28.1 billion, sold certain properties to ATN in 2009 for $200 million. On Monday, the total amount came to $223 million after net working capital was considered. ATN funded the deal with cash and debt.

ATN bought wireless networks and licenses covering about 895,000 subscribers in six states: Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, North Carolina, Ohio and South Carolina. The service provider expects the purchase to produce $500 million in annual sales during the first year of operation. However, ATN said it expects high subscriber turnover during the Alltel integration phase; many of those customers are on prepaid, not the more valuable post-paid, service plans.

ATN also got hold of Alltel’s name and service marks such as My Circle.

The Alltel transaction turned Verizon into the No. 1 wireless carrier in the United States.

ATN’s stock closed at $55.64 per share, a 1.35 percent increase over Friday’s closing price.

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