FairPoint awaits, needs deal approval

FairPoint Communications is still waiting for state regulators in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont to vote on the company proposed $2.7 billion acquisition of Verizon Communications properties in those states.  Those decisions should be coming any day now (for a deal proposed almost a year ago), but in the interim, both proponents and opponents of the deal continue to busily work their angle. Newspaper reports in New England note FairPoint is ready to accept many of the conditions recommended for the deal by public advocates, including a reduction in the price of the deal by as much as several hundred million dollars. However, Verizon might be less agreeable to that particular condition. Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg also met with Maine Gov. John Baldacci recently to explain Verizon's position on the deal, even though Baldacci won't get a vote in the Maine regulators' decision.

Still, newspaper editorials and other critical voices continue to speak out against the deal. Meanwhile, Morgan Stanley says FairPoint needs the deal to go through so it can use the resulting cash flow to help pay stock dividends, and that the telco faces $55 million in costs if the deal fails.

For more:
- see this story about FairPoint's position in The Nashua Telegraph
- read this account of Seidenberg's Maine visit in The Kennebec Journal

Related articles:
- FairPoint this summer pledged more broadband investment in the region