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Bell Atlantic May Spin Off GTE Assets for US$2.5 Billion
Posted: 05-Jan-2000 [Source: Reuters]

[The second largest local telephone company in the US explores a large scale selloff of Internet assets.]

WASHINGTON -- "Bell Atlantic Corp. (BEL.N) is exploring a massive US$2.5 billion spin-off of Internet assets in an effort to gain Federal Communications Commission approval for its acquisition of GTE Corp., people familiar with the plan said on Tuesday.

"Bell Atlantic, the second largest local telephone company in the US, has so far been unable to gain approval for the deal, originally valued at US$53 billion, in part because GTE (GTE.N) operates a high-capacity Internet backbone that Bell Atlantic is currently prohibited by law from owning.

"In a recent proposal to the FCC obtained by Reuters, Bell Atlantic suggested spinning off a new company that would take possession of GTE's fast-growing Internetworking unit after the merger. The new company would be 90 percent publicly owned, raising about $2.5 billion in a share offering.

"Bell Atlantic would own 10 percent of the Internet spin- off, but would have an option to raise its stake to 80 or 90 percent if it received regulatory permission to own the Internet backbone within five years.


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