YOU ARE AT:Archived ArticlesWITH WESTLINK BUY OVER, ARCH TO FOCUS ON BRAND

WITH WESTLINK BUY OVER, ARCH TO FOCUS ON BRAND

Arch Communications Group Inc. announced it has completed its acquisition of Westlink Holdings Inc. The acquisition expands Arch’s operations to a total of 38 states and 90 of the largest markets in the United States, the company said.

“We’re clearly in the top tier now in terms of size and scale,” said C.E. Baker, Jr., chairman, president and chief executive officer of Arch.

He said the Westlink acquisition gives his company national scope, half-a-million new subscribers and a 49.9 percent interest in Benbow PCS Ventures Inc., a winner of two regional narrowband personal communications services licenses. Arch already has a 10 percent interest in PCS Development Corp., a nationwide NPCS licensee, but Baker emphasized his company will compete as a low-cost service provider rather than by providing advanced services.

“To be a low-cost provider means you have to be risk-averse and can’t be on the cutting edge of technology deployment. We’ll wait and see, there’s uncertainty out there right now,” he said.

Scott Hoyt, the company’s new vice president of marketing who came from Westlink, will explore creating a common brand name for the network within 90 to 120 days. “He will determine what that brand name should be. I’ve given him a clean sheet of paper to come up with a name, but if we end up using an existing name it probably will be Arch,” Baker said.

The cash purchase price paid at closing was about $318 million, reflecting the repayment of Westlink’s debt and certain purchase price adjustments under the stock purchase arrangement as agreed to prior to closing, Arch said. Arch funded the acquisition with bank financing and cash proceeds from a senior discount note offering completed on March 12.

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