Shares of Atlantic Tele-Network, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATNI) were up as much as 47 percent at mid-day trading today, after the Salem-based telecommunications service provider announced a definitive agreement to acquire $200 million in certain wireless assets from Verizon Wireless.
Atlantic Tele-Network will acquire wireless properties, including wireless spectrum licenses and network assets, serving over 800,000 subscribers primarily in rural areas across Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Illinois, Ohio, and Idaho. Verizon Wireless is required to divest these properties as part of the regulatory approvals granted for its purchase of Alltel earlier this year.
As of April 30, 2009, Atlantic Tele-Network had approximately $90 million in cash and cash equivalents, $75 million of available borrowings under its undrawn revolving credit facility, and an additional $50 million of borrowing capacity, subject to lender consent, under its term credit facility.
Atlantic Tele-Network expects the transaction to close by Q3 or Q4 of this year.
According to CEO, Michael Prior, the acquisition provides the company with “enhanced scale and revenue diversification,” and expand its U.S. wireless business. “Coupled with our existing U.S. wireless operations, we will now have significant wireless operations in rural areas of more than 10 states. Including our international operations, we expect to have more than 1,000,000 retail wireless subscribers by transaction close.”
We like ATN because the company is relsilient, generates cash from operations, and has healthy earnings growth. Shares of ATNI are down about 8.4% in the past 52-weeks, compared to Verizon’s 21.5% drop, AT&T’s 34.9% drop and Sprint’s 42.3% drop over teh past year.
ATNI generated about $65.8 million in operating cash flow and$24.1 million of levered free cash flow in the trailing 12-month period.