M&A Deals of the Week

With deal news from Verizon and Harley-Davidson

Verizon completes acquisition of Unicel
Verizon Wireless, a joint venture of Verizon Communications and Vodafone, announced it has completed its purchase of Rural Cellular Corp., which does business as Unicel, for $2.66 billion in cash and assumed debt.

The acquisition will expand Verizon Wireless’ network coverage to many rural markets throughout the country and increases the company’s customers by more than 625,000.

The purchase will increase Verizon Wireless’ licensed coverage area by 4.7 million people, and will add licenses covering markets in rural Wisconsin, Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Alabama, Mississippi, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Idaho, Washington and Oregon.

Verizon Wireless will begin today to serve customers in Rural Cellular markets that will be merged with Verizon Wireless’ operations. The company will continue to use the Unicel brand for the next several months, as it works to integrate networks.

Virtually all Rural Cellular employees have received employment offers and have accepted them.

Unicel will be re-branded as Verizon Wireless in phases when customers are transitioned to the Verizon Wireless network and billing conversions are completed, beginning early in 2009.

The completion of the Rural Cellular purchase required approvals by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

Harley finalizes purchase of Italian motorcycle manufacturer
Harley-Davidson Inc. recently completed its purchase of the privately held Italian motorcycle maker MV Agusta Group. Milwaukee-based Harley has acquired 100 percent of MV Agusta Group shares for total consideration of approximately $108 million, which includes the satisfaction of existing bank debt for approximately $69 million.

Retail sales of Harley-Davidson motorcycles have grown at a double-digit rate in Europe in each of the last three years, as the company has increased its strategic focus on global markets.

MV Agusta Group adds two lines of motorcycles to the Harley-Davidson family: a line of exclusive, premium, high-performance sport motorcycles sold under the MV Agusta brand; and a line of lightweight sport motorcycles sold under the Cagiva brand.

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