Verizon confirms assets sell-off, CWA responds

As predicted earlier this week, Verizon has announced a massive sell-off of assets in two separate deals.

The larger is a sale of wireline operations in three of its states: in California, Florida and Texas to Frontier Communications for a total of $10 billion in cash and $600 million in assumed debt.

In the smaller – although still large – transaction, Verizon will lease the rights to over 11,300 of its company-owned wireless towers to American Tower Corporation, and outright sell 165 towers for a total of some $5 billion.

Verizon says it will return one-third of the total to its shareholders through a $5 billion accelerated share-repurchase program.

Verizon Chairman and CEO Lowell McAdam said in a company media statement that, “ These transactions will further strengthen Verizon’s focus on extending our industry leadership position in our core markets and return significant value to our shareholders.”

The Communications Workers of America immediately responded to the Frontier sale. The union said in a statement:

“Verizon Communications has announced plans to sell its wireline operations in California, Texas and Florida and a Missouri-based call center operation to Frontier Communications. The sale must be approved by the Federal Communications Commission, the U.S. Department of Justice, and state regulators.

“CWA, which represents workers in California, Texas and Missouri (workers in Florida are represented by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers), will be active in the regulatory review process, to ensure that good jobs and quality service are preserved and strengthened.

“Contracts covering these 5,500 workers will remain in force.

“CWA also represents workers at Frontier Communications in West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, North Carolina and other states.”

Verizon Sharpens Strategic Focus and Returns Value to Investors With Transactions Valued at $15.54 Billion  (Verizon investor relations statement, Jan. 5, 2015)

CWA Statement on Proposed Sale of Verizon Assets to Frontier Communications (CWA media release, Jan. 5, 2015)