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Surewest Sells Wireless Assets To Verizon

Surewest Communications Inc., a Sacramento, Calif.-based telecommunications provider currently selling a quad-play package of services, is selling off its wireless business to Verizon Wireless.

Surewest said the sale will provide it with the cash to expand the market area served with a triple-play bundle of video, Internet and wired telephone services. The funds will also help the company pay for the previously announced acquisition of Everest Broadband Inc. Surewest competes in the Sacramento market against Comcast.

According to Surewest, Verizon Wireless will pay $69 million for spectrum licenses and operating assets, excluding 50 communications towers. As of the third quarter of 2007, Surewest served 50,000 cellular telephone customers in a market area including 3.8 million homes around the California state capital.

This is the latest transaction by operator to divest non-core assets in order to make more strategic acquisitions. Early last year, Surewest sold its directory publishing business for $110 million in advance of the Everest buy.

The wireless sale is contingent on federal approvals, but Surewest anticipates the deal will close in the second quarter.