Frontier's McCarthy has no immediate M&A plans, sets focus on cost cutting, integration

Frontier Communications
Image: Frontier

Now that Frontier has put much of the integration issues related to its Verizon purchase behind it, the telco has no immediate plans to pursue further deals in the near-term.

Dan McCarthy, CEO of Frontier, told investors during the told investors during the Goldman Sachs Communacopia 2016 event that it plans to focus on refining the assets it purchased from Verizon and AT&T since 2010.

Following its purchase of Verizon’s rural assets in 2010, which included a large swath of former GTE properties, Frontier acquired AT&T’s Connecticut operations in 2013 and then Verizon’s properties in California, Florida and Texas this April.

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“The two sets of assets we picked up over the past few years were the ones that we had on our radar screen for many years,” McCarthy said. “They came together quicker than we thought but we did the two and we’re done at this point so our focus is on the opportunities we have with those and driving free cash flow.”

McCarthy added that “I don’t see anything on the radar that would take me in an M&A direction and we have enough to focus on right now.”

Instead of pursuing new deals, Frontier will focus on achieving cost synergies and evolving its cost structure.

“The single biggest thing is we were frozen from really attacking our cost structure for a number of years because we were going through integration and we’re out of that mode right now,” McCarthy said. “We’re at the point now where we need to evolve on our cost structure, which will be a way of life for us.”

As part of its new vision, the service provider recently hired Perley McBride as its new CFO, replacing John Jureller who had a large role in helping the company secure capital to pursue its deals with Verizon and AT&T.

“John Jureller has been an incredible addition to the company as we went through those deals over the last few years, but when we were looking at where we wanted to go we decided it was the right time to make a change,” McCarthy said. “I was looking for a CFO that really was very operational, someone who understood telecom intimately, and who could bring a view externally, but would not be a long ramp as far as intimacy with Frontier and the industry.”

McBride returns to Frontier after serving as CFO first of Leap Wireless, then of Cable & Wireless Communications Plc, before the companies were acquired by AT&T and Liberty Global, respectively.

Previously, McBride served two tours of duty at Frontier. He served in several senior financial management roles at Frontier between 1999 and 2010, and also between 1994 and 1997.

“He was the most intimate of the financial team at Frontier and the nitty gritty operations of the business,” McCarthy said. “He left to pursue opportunities at Weather Channel, Leap and Cable & Wireless, and he brings those experiences of managing those situations back to us, but also brings an intimacy with the systems, our processes and the people.”

For more:
- listen to the webcast (reg. req.)

Related articles:
Frontier subscriber levels will improve in Verizon properties in Q3, says Wells Fargo
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Frontier names McBride CFO, resets focus on operations, cost cutting
CenturyLink, Frontier say special access proposals from Verizon/Incompas and FCC will hurt network investments

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