Verizon to sell Vermont, NH, Maine land line business

first_imgVERIZONS ONLINE NEWS CENTER:Verizon news releases, executive speeches and biographies, media contacts, highquality video and images, and other information are available at Verizons News Center on the World Wide Web at www.verizon.com/news(link is external).  To receive news releases by e-mail, visit theNews Center and register for customized automatic delivery ofVerizon news releases. Verizon and FairPoint Agree to Merge VerizonsWireline Businesses in Maine, New Hampshire and VermontWith Current Operations of FairPoint About FairPointFairPoint is a leading provider of communications services torural communities across the country. Incorporated in 1991, FairPoints mission is to acquire and operatetelecommunications companies that set the standard of excellence for thedelivery of service to rural communities. Today, FairPoint owns and operates 31 local exchange companies locatedin 18 states offering an array of services, including local and long distancevoice, data, Internet and broadband offerings. Building on Verizons Operating Strength FairPoint is a leading provider ofcommunications services to rural communities. Its commitment to quality customer service was a key factor in ourdecision to enter into this transaction with FairPoint, Verizons Ruesterholzsaid.  We know that FairPoint has a deepunderstanding of the local phone business and a determination to build on Verizonsoperating strength in this region.FairPointsJohnson said, This is a value-creating event for multiple parties.  Customers, employees and shareholders willall benefit from the transaction.We are preparedto make additional investments in the state networks to maintain and improvethe highly reliable, state-of-the-art networks in the three states, hecontinued.  We are confident that ourexperience as a major operator will enable us to provide outstanding serviceand innovative products for our new customers.  FairPoints established expertise inoperating telephone properties in rural areas will now be leveraged in the new Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont markets.A Verizontransition team will work with FairPoint in the coming months to ensurecustomer accounts, billing information, and other assets from the operationsare successfully transferred to FairPoint and that the transition is seamlessfor customers and employees.Verizon wasadvised in the transaction by Merrill Lynch & Co.  Lehman Brothers acted as FairPoints leadfinancial adviser in this transaction. Deutsche Bank Securities and Morgan Stanley also acted as advisers toFairPoint. NEWS RELEASE v104247 Steve Marcus 5 9 2007-01-15T20:25:00Z 2007-01-16T03:23:00Z 2007-01-16T05:30:00Z 1 2063 11761 Verizon 98 27 13797 10.2625 Print MicrosoftInternetExplorer4st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:”Table Normal”; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:””; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:”Times New Roman”;}January 16, 2007 This press release may contain forward-lookingstatements by FairPoint that are not based on historical fact, including,without limitation, statements containing the words expects, anticipates,intends, plans, believes, seeks, estimates and similar expressionsand statements related to potential cost savings and synergies expected to berealized in the merger. Because these forward-looking statements involve knownand unknown risks and uncertainties, there are important factors that couldcause actual results, events or developments to differ materially from thoseexpressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. Such factors includethose risks described from time to time in FairPoints filings with theSecurities and Exchange Commission, including, without limitation, the risksdescribed in FairPoints most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K on file withthe Securities and Exchange Commission. These factors should be considered carefully and readers are cautionednot to place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements.  All information is current as of the datethis press release is issued, and FairPoint undertakes no duty to update thisinformation.  Source: FairPointCommunications, Inc., www.fairpoint.com(link is external). IncreasedEmployment and Broadband AvailabilityApproximately 3,000 Verizoncompany employees — those who support primarily the local phone business thatis spun off — will continue employment with FairPoint after the merger.  Approximately 300 Verizon company employeesin Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont who provide national orregional support services will remain with the Verizon company that currentlyemploys them.FairPoint andVerizon will provide a smooth transition for employees.  FairPoint will honor the union labor agreementsin these states and expects to work constructively with union leaders.  Subsequent to the merger, FairPoint expectsto add approximately 600 positions to the current employee base serving thethree states.  FairPointwill also strengthen the local operational presence and create new localservice centers to deliver industry-leading customer service.Additionally, FairPoint plans to significantly increasebroadband availability in the region within the first 12 months after themerger is completed.Our goal at FairPoint is to respond to customers, and wewill have sufficient scale to continue to offer enhanced services on a robustnetwork platform, said Johnson.  Thatmeans we can deliver a broader range of communications products and services.The transaction is targeted tobe completed within the next 12 months.  Itrequires approval from FairPoint stockholders, certain state and federalregulatory approvals, and satisfaction of other customary closing conditions. About VerizonVerizon Communications Inc.(NYSE: VZ), a New York-based Dow 30 company, is a leader in deliveringbroadband and other wireline and wireless communication innovations to massmarket, business, government and wholesale customers.  Verizon Wirelessoperates America’s most reliable wireless network, serving nearly 57million customers nationwide.  Verizon’s Wireline operations includeVerizon Business, which operates one of the most expansive wholly-owned globalIP networks, and Verizon Telecom, which is deploying the nation’s most advancedfiber-optic network to deliver the benefits of converged communications,information and entertainment services to customers.  For moreinformation, visit www.verizon.com(link is external). FairPoint to Add Jobs, Provide Seamless Transition for CurrentEmployees and Invest in Increased Broadband Access for Consumers in Northern New England TransactionDetails, Tax-Free DistributionVerizons local exchange and related business assets in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont will be transferredto entities owned by a newly organized, wholly owned subsidiary ofVerizon.  This new subsidiary will incur$1.7 billion of newly issued debt and will then be spun off to Verizonsstockholders and immediately merged with and into FairPoint.When the merger iscompleted, the companies conducting the Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont telephone and relatedbusiness operations will be subsidiaries of FairPoint.  The combined business will be managed byFairPoints executive team.Upon the closing ofthe transaction, Verizon stockholders will own approximately60 percent of the new company, and FairPoint stockholders will ownapproximately 40 percent.  In connectionwith the merger, Verizon stockholders will receive one share of FairPoint stockfor approximately every 55 shares of Verizon stock held as of the recorddate.  Both the spin-off and merger areexpected to qualify as tax-free transactions, except to the extent that cash ispaid to Verizon stockholders in lieu of fractional shares.Verizon Communicationswill not own any shares in FairPoint after the merger.The total value to bereceived by Verizon and its stockholders in exchange for these operations willbe approximately $2.715 billion.  Verizonstockholders will receive approximately $1.015 billion of FairPoint commonstock in the merger, based upon FairPoints recent stock price and the terms ofthe merger agreement.  Verizon willreceive $1.7 billion in value through a combination of cash distributions toVerizon and debt securities issued to Verizon prior to the spin-off.  Verizon may exchange these newly issued debtsecurities for certain debt that was previously issued by Verizon, which wouldhave the effect of reducing Verizons then-outstanding debt on its balancesheet.The transactionincludes Verizons switched and special access lines in the three states, aswell as its Internet service, enterprise voice CPE (customer premisesequipment) accounts, and long-distance voice and private line customer accounts(for customer private lines with beginning and ending points within the threestates) that Verizon served in the region before the 2006 merger with MCI, Inc.  The transaction does not include theservices, offerings or assets of Verizon Wireless, Verizon Business (formerMCI), Federal Network Systems LLC, Verizon Network Integration Corp., VerizonGlobal Networks Inc., Verizon Federal Inc. or any other Verizon businesses inthese states.FairPoint expects that the transaction will be accretive tofree cash flow of FairPoint upon completion of the transition, and it expectsthat its current annual dividend of $1.59 per share will continue unchangedfollowing the closing.  All owners of FairPoint shares on dividend record datesafter the merger is completed, including Verizon stockholders who will have receivedFairPoint shares in this transaction, will be eligible to receive declareddividends.FairPoints management anticipates that the merged companywill be able to generate improved operational performance through managementfocus, local/regional marketing and customer service initiatives, and futuredevelopment of innovative technology and processes. — Verizon to Spin Off These Wireline Businesses Priorto Merger — NEW YORK Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) and FairPointCommunications, Inc. (NYSE: FRP) today announced definitive agreementsthat will result in Verizon establishing a separate entity for its localexchange and related business assets in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, spinningoff that new entity to Verizons stockholders, and merging it with and intoFairPoint.FairPoint, basedin Charlotte, N.C.,is a telecommunications provider with 31 local exchange companies in 18 states,serving the unique needs of customers in rural and small urban markets.  FairPoint provides an array of services,including local and long-distance voice, data, Internet and broadband.Verizons Maine,New Hampshire and Vermont properties serve approximately1.5 million access lines, approximately 180,000 DSL customers and approximately600,000 long-distance customers (as of Sept. 30, 2006).We believe thistransaction will create an opportunity for further investment in Maine,New Hampshire and Vermont,strengthen the regions economy by creating jobs and improve service tocustomers through capital investment, said Gene Johnson, chairman and CEO ofFairPoint.  At the same time, we haveaccelerated FairPoints growth through a single transaction, creating a muchlarger company with increased financial strength and flexibility that willcontinue to focus on maximizing value for investors.VirginiaRuesterholz, president of Verizon Telecom, said, This deal is great forconsumers.  They can count on continuedtop service from the new company that will have a focus on northern New England.  The transactionalso ensures the fair and equitable treatment of employees in these New England states, who have performed outstanding work for ourcustomers for many years.In our view, Ruesterholzadded, this agreement provides a fair value for this property and allowsVerizon to focus more intently on operations in other markets.  It shows how Verizoncontinually looks for creative and attractive ways to add value for ourshareholders. FairPoint intends to file aregistration statement, including a proxy statement, and other materials withthe Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in connection with the proposedmerger.  We urge investors to read thesedocuments when they become available because they will contain important information.  Investors will be able to obtain copies of theregistration statement and proxy statement, as well as other filed documentscontaining information about FairPoint and the merger, at www.sec.gov(link is external), the SECs website, or at www.fairpoint.com/investor(link is external), when they are available.  Investors may also obtain free copies ofthese documents and the Companys SEC filings at www.fairpoint.com(link is external) under the Investor Relations section, orby written request to FairPoint Communications, Inc., 521 E. Morehead Street, Suite 250, Charlotte,last_img read more

Murder trial hits delays

first_imgLos Angeles Superior Court Judge Stephen A. Marcus ordered  Tuesday a delay of the trials of the two men charged in last year’s killings of two USC graduate students, media reported.Bryan Barnes, 20, and Javier Bolden, 19, have been charged with first-degree murder in connection with the fatal shooting and robbery of Chinese graduate engineering students Ming Qu and Ying Wu on April 11, 2012.Qu and Wu, both 23 years old, were killed in a car in an off-campus shooting west of the University Park Campus near the intersection of 27th Street and Raymond Avenue.A wrongful death lawsuit was filed against the university in May by Qu’s and Wu’s parents seeking unspecified damages, claiming that the university misled people about the safety of the area surrounding the University Park Campus. However, Superior Court Judge Michael Johnson dismissed the case in February, citing insufficient legal arguments.Barnes and Bolden were charged last May in connection with the case. Both pled not guilty at their arraignment in July.last_img read more

Experts discuss implications of Vergara v. California

first_imgPolitical experts from both sides of the much-debated Vergara v. California met  on Sunday for “Life After Vergara: The Future of California’s Public Schools” on Sunday, an educational summit focused on the case’s implications and next steps.The event was co-hosted by the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics, the Rossier School of Education, the Los Angeles Unified School District and KLCS public radio. Panelists focused on the need to improve California’s public education system, although they often disagreed on how this should be achieved.In Vergara v. California, nine public school children, under the guidance of Students Matter, sued the state of California with the premise that the laws directing hiring and firing practices for public school teachers left some students with an inherent educational disadvantage. The state’s Superior Court struck down several of these laws, including the “Last-In, First-Out” layoff stature, which allows districts to base layoffs on seniority, without considering actual teacher performance, and the Permanent Employment statue under which districts can grant teachers tenure after less than two years.A new USC Dornsife-Los Angeles Times poll revealed that the majority of California voters reject tenure and seniority based layoffs for public school teachers. Union advocates and others fear that the case will dissuade potential teachers from the field, however. The decision was appealed by attorneys representing the State of California.Dan Schnur, executive director of the Unruh Institute, moderated the panels. The event’s first panel specifically focused on the case’s legal implications and next steps. The side of the plaintiffs, or the students, was represented by Hillary Moglen, principal of the issue advocacy firm RALLY and students’ advocate who helped organize the plaintiffs for the case. On the other side of the debate was Glenn Rothner, an attorney who worked closely with the California Teachers Association during the trial. Howard Blume, primary education reporter at the Los Angeles Times, provided additional, unbiased contributions to the discussion.After a brief overview of the case by Blume, Moglen and Rothner launched into a lively debate. One of Rothner’s main concerns with the results of the case was the fact that it was based on the faults of just a small number of teachers.“Vergara focuses on a very small subset of teachers, but beats that drum nationwide … it’s warning potential teachers job [that] security isn’t what it used to be; [that] there may no longer be tenure, and seniority … so people are now questioning whether this is a profession for them,” Rothner said.Moglen responded by arguing that many teachers actually agreed with the elimination of tenure, saying “people want to be rewarded and encouraged for the work that they do everyday, not just for how long they’ve been doing it.”The second panel focused on the case’s political and legislative implications and next steps. The panel included Ben Austin, the head of policy development and advocacy for Students Matter, the organization which helped represent plaintiffs in the Vergara case. Doug Herman, a political strategist of the Strategy Group, provided additional insight. Drew Lieberman, the vice president of Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research and lead pollster for the poll involving the Vergara case, also contributed.While the first panel included a lively debate, the second panel served to explain the public’s perception of the debate. Lieberman explained the recent poll, while Herman discussed strategy and Austin described the background of Students Matter.After each panel, the discussion was opened to questions from the audience and community members, including pre-recorded video questions provided by KLCS.Though educational leaders and policymakers have their work cut out for them following the Vergara case, panelists seemed to agree that improving the quality of public education is a paramount issue.“We all agree that we ought to do everything we possibly can to support and train the teachers to do the best jobs they possibly can. We all want the same things, for public schools and the children who attend these schools, so we’re all ultimately on the same side,” Schnur said.Correction: A previous version of this story stated that Hillary Moglen is is the president of RALLY public affairs. She is actually the principal of the issue advocacy firm RALLY. The Daily Trojan regrets the error.last_img read more

2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying Wrap (UEFA): Serbia, Iceland Secure Spots; Wales Suffer Heartbreak

first_imgGroup I:Ukraine 0-2 CroatiaIceland 2-0 KosovoFinland 2-2 TurkeyStandings:Iceland 22 points (Qualified)Croatia 20 points (Playoff)Ukraine 17 pointsTurkey 15 pointsFinland 9 pointsKosovo 1 point Group G:Albania 0-1 ItalyMacedonia 4-0 LiechtensteinIsrael 0-1 SpainStandings:Spain 28 points (Qualified)Italy 23 points (Playoff)Albania 13 pointsIsrael 12 pointsMacedonia 11 pointsLiechtenstein 0 point Serbia and minnows Iceland have become the latest teams to qualify for next year’s FIFA World Cup in Russia.Striker Aleksandar Prijovic of Greek club PAOK scored with 16 minutes remaining to give Serbia a priceless 1-0 win at home to Georgia. The result was enough for the team to book a place as Group D winners.In the battle for the playoffs in the group, a Bale-less Wales suffered heartbreak following a 1-0 home loss to rivals Republic of Ireland courtesy James McClean’s 57th minute strike. The result was enough for Republic of Ireland to seal a playoff spot.Iceland have also qualified as Group I winners after they defeated Kosovo 2-0 at home with goals from Everton star Gylfi Sigurdsson and his Burnley counterparts Johan Berg Gudmundsson. They will become the smallest nation to feature at a FIFA World Cup in Russia next year.In a winner takes all battle, Croatia defeated Ukraine 2-0 away from home to secure a playoff spot. TSG Hoffenheim forward Andrej Kramaric was the matchwinner for the Croats as he netted a brace to help his country into the playoff picture.ResultsGroup D:Serbia 1-0 GeorgiaMoldova 0-1 AustriaWales 0-1 Republic of IrelandStandings:Serbia 21 points (Qualified)Republic of Ireland 19 points (Playoff)Wales 17 pointsAustria 15 pointsGeorgia 5 pointsMoldova 2 pointscenter_img Related2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying Wrap (Europe): Former Winners Spain Book Russia SpotOctober 7, 2017In “FIFA”Denmark, Ireland World Cup Playoff Clash In The Balance After StalemateNovember 12, 2017In “FIFA”2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying Review (UEFA): Poland Become Sixth European Nation In RussiaOctober 9, 2017In “FIFA”last_img read more