Verizon to Buy Northcoast Wireless Licenses

The wireless carrier will buy 50 PCS licenses and related network assets for approximately $750 million in cash.

Verizon Wireless on Thursday announced that the company is buying, for approximately $750 million in cash, 50 PCS licenses and related network assets from Northcoast Communications LLC, a Long Island, N.Y., wireless company largely backed by Cablevision Systems Corp.

The deal is expected to close during the second quarter of 2003.

The licenses cover markets in large portions of the East Coast and Midwest—including New York; Boston; Minneapolis; Columbus, Ohio; Providence, R.I.; Rochester, N.Y.; and Hartford, Conn.—which should bolster Verizons position as the number one wireless carrier in the U.S.

The balance of the proceeds will be distributed to Northcoasts partners, which include Northcoast PCS and a subsidiary of Cablevision.

Cablevision plans to use its share, approximately $635 million, to pay down bank debt, officials said.