AT&T Inc. announced it acquired Centennial Communications Corp. for $944 million in cash. If the deal closes, AT&T will add 1.1 million Centennial customers to its current customer base of 74.9 million.
The deal will not, by itself, help AT&T regain the top spot in the U.S. market. Although the carrier currently holds the position, it will soon to lose it to the combination of Verizon Wireless (70.8 million customers) and Alltel Communications L.L.C. (13 million customers).
AT&T said the transaction would enhance its coverage in the rural areas of the Midwest and Southeast United States and in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
“Mobility is a vital investment area for AT&T and our company’s biggest growth driver,” said Ralph de la Vega, president and CEO of AT&T Mobility. “This transaction enhances network coverage for our consumer and business customers and is expected to create long-term value for AT&T’s stockholders.”
AT&T said it hopes to obtain the necessary approvals for the deal by the second quarter of next year.