dcsimg
RealTime IT News

Verizon Wireless IPO Back on Track

In October, Verizon Communications Chief Financial Officer Fred Salerno told investors that an IPO of the communications giant's Verizon Wireless subsidiary was on the front burner, and the company followed through on that promise Friday in an S-1/A filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that predicts a mid-2002 public offering.

The company first filed plans for a $5 billion IPO of the joint Verizon and Vodafone Group venture in August 2000, but indefinitely delayed the IPO as the IPO market fell through the floor.

But the company now appears to foresee a better reception for the spin-off, which it hopes will raise the funds to finance network expansion and acquire wireless licenses and other wireless assets.

In the filing, the company claimed that it had the largest wireless subscriber base in the U.S. as of June 30, 2001, with 27.9 million subscribers. The company said 17.9 million of those subscribers were digital subscribers. It has licenses that cover areas in which about 245 million people live.

"Our broad network coverage, digital technology, widespread distribution channels and operating and financial strength position us to take advantage of the growing demand for wireless voice and data services," the company said in its filing.

Upon completion of the IPO, Verizon Wireless Inc. would become a holding company which serves as general manager of the partnership between Verizon Communications and U.K.-based Vodafone Group.

Both Verizon and Vodafone will continue to exercise control over management and other matters which require stockholder approval through their ownership of high vote Class B or Class C common stock. Both companies will retain veto rights over significant decisions. Verizon Communications will still own the "Verizon Wireless" brand name, but will license it to Verizon Wireless on a non-exclusive basis.