Carlyle to buy Verizon Hawaii for $1.65bn

Verizon Communications, the largest US local telephone company, has agreed to sell the global private equity house its local and long distance operations, as well as its Internet services and print directory.

Washington, DC-based The Carlyle Group has announced the signing of an agreement to purchase Verizon Hawaii from Verizon Communications in a transaction valued at $1.65 billion (€1.38 billion).

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The deal will include the transfer of Verizon’s Hawaii-based local telephone operations as well as its print directory, long distance and Internet service provider operations, according to a statement. Verizon Wireless will not be included in the transaction.

Verizon Hawaii controls 707,000 switched wireline access lines, and reported 2003 sales at $610 million. The company currently employs 1,700.

In the statement, Carlyle managing director William Kennard said that as new owners of Verizon Hawaii, his firm ‘will offer new services to … customers, including expanded broadband, and [expects] to add many new jobs after the acquisition.’

The firm plans to locate all major functions of the new company to Hawaii and to staff Verizon Hawaii with local employees, including all business units currently manned by offshore Verizon staff. Carlyle is hoping to reposition the business as a ‘true local company benefiting its local heritage – locally branded, locally managed and locally operated,’ Kennard added in the statement. The firm plans to have ‘strong local representation on the company’s Board of Directors and senior management team.’

The Blackstone Group advised Verizon in the transaction.

The Carlyle Group last made a splash in April when it announced a joint venture with Riverstone Holdings to raise a $1.1 billion (€910 million) fund looking to capitalise on growing opportunities in the energy sector.