Tuesday, September 07, 2004

BellSouth Bonds for Cingular/AT&T Deal, Not Fiber in Lafayette!

The Financial Times has a story today about BellSouth's move to sell $3 Billion in bonds to help cover its 40 percent share of Cingular's purchase of AT&T Wireless. The article came to my attention by way of Southeast Tech Wire, which is a daily eletter covering technology news in the Southeast US.

The total cost of the Cingular buyout of AT&T Wireless is $41 Billion. BellSouth's share of that is, the Financial Times reports, $16.3 Billion. That's more than double what Cox Enterprises is paying to take Cox Communications private. We are now speaking about large numbers! It's pretty amazing that reps of these companies are quibbling over an LUS plan that is expected to total somewhere in the vicinity of $100 million.

This is not just another transaction for BellSouth. The Financial Times article notes that both BellSouth and its senior partner in Cingular, SBC, "have been selling non-core businesses to fund the deal." So, the companies are having to exert themselves in order to raise the cash to make this Cingular/AT&T deal happen.

It's no wonder, then, that BellSouth isn't interested in building a fiber to the premises network in Lafayette. They've got higher priorities that are demanding their attention — like financing all this corporate debt!

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