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Alltel To Buy Aliant for $1.5B

December 18, 1998

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) _ Telecommunications company Alltel Corp. said Friday it will buy Aliant Communications Inc., a smaller telecom company, for $1.5 billion.

Aliant, based in Lincoln, Neb., offers cellular, paging, long-distance and Internet service in Nebraska.

It’s Alltel’s second big buyout this year as it continues an expansion program in to new telecommunications markets. In July it bought 360 Communications Co. in Chicago for $4.16 billion.

Friday’s deal, set to close the middle of next year, will create a company with $5.3 billion in annual revenues, 6.3 million communications customers in 24 states, 22,000 employees and more than 1,000 information services clients.

The stock swap deal offers $39.13 in Alltel stock for each Aliant share.

Shares of Aliant rose $6.37 1/2, or 21 percent, to close at $37.25 on the Nasdaq Stock Market. Alltel fell $1.12 1/2 to $55.87 1/2.

Alltel said the deal will boost earnings, but it didn’t give a time frame. The merged company will operate under the Alltel name.

In a separate transaction, Alltel will acquire all the assets of Durango Cellular Telephone Co.’s operations in the Durango, Colo., area for an undisclosed price. The Durango service area is adjacent to Alltel’s wireless coverage in northern New Mexico.

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