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Recap Aids Upgrade For CLEC

Bear Stearns upgraded its rating on Cincinnati Bell to "peer perform" from "underperform," citing a long-awaited recapitalization at the competitive local exchange provider.

Bear Stearns said it would not accumulate Cincinnati Bell shares at their current levels, but the recapitalization — which provides some tax advantages and forestalls future equity dilution — diminishes the risk of underperforming.

Last week Cincinnati Bell said more than 99% of holders of its preferred stock and notes in its BRCOM subsidiary (formerly Broadwing Communications) agreed to tender for Cincinnati Bell stock. Cincinnati Bell expects to shortly complete a subsidiary-level merger in which any remaining shares of BRCOM preferred stock will be converted.