Could FairPoint Communications sell off some properties?

FairPoint Communications just made a highly-controversial $2.3 billion acquisition of former Verizon Communications properties in New England, and at least some of the controversy had to do with the fact that the new markets appeared to be larger and denser than many of the more rural markets in which North Carolina-based FairPoint has operated around the country. Now, there is speculation that FairPoint could soon sell off some of its other markets, which extend as far west as Washington state and well into the Southeast and Midwest.

The speculation started when FairPoint CEO Gene Johnson told analysts recently that FairPoint would begin to consider whether or not it will keep some of its smalles rural telecom operations. Johnson followed those comments by saying that FairPoint likely would not take action for several months, that it is currently focused on integrating the former Verizon operations and that even its smallest operations are still providing the company with solid revenue. Still, industry analysts see a sell-off of smaller units as one way to pay down the debt FairPoint incurred with the New England acquisition. Meanwhile, there has been some other recent chatter about the possibility that Windstream Communications could pursue some M&A activities. Could there be a match here?

For more:
- read this report at The Charlotte Business Journal