By Ryan Naraine
In a move aimed at shedding non-core properties, telco giant Verizon Communications
announced Monday it would sell wireless unit TSI Telecommunications in a deal valued at approximately $800 million.
Under terms of the arrangement, Chicago-based GTCR Golder Rauner LLC agreed to purchase the unit, which provides wireless services such as roaming subscriber validation, call delivery and fraud management.
The companies expect the sale to close in the first quarter of 2002. Financial terms of the deal were not released.
TSI also sells transaction-based call processing, technical interoperability and network services that enable business transactions between wireless telecommunication carriers.
“The decision to divest TSI was driven by Verizon’s need to remain sharply focused on residential and business services,” said Tom Bartlett, president of Verizon Global Solutions.
The sale comes as the company prepares to push ahead with an IPO for its Verizon Wireless subsidiary.
The wireless spin-off, a joint venture between the Verizon and U.K.-based Vodafone Group, was originally scheduled to go public last fall but, with the telecommunications industry in a state of flux, the company pushed back the IPO filing.
TSI, which serves more than 260 telecommunications providers in North America, Latin America, Asia Pacific and Europe, would maintain headquarters in Tampa, Florida where the bulk of its 800 employees are housed.
Once the deal closes, GTCR said president and chief operating officer of Dobson Communications Edward Evans would quit that post to become CEO of TSI.