Apparently the capital markets aren’t completely locked up. If you’re big enough and generate enough cashflow, you can still raise good money. Today, Verizon Wireless received commitments for some $17B from a group of 8 banks. It will use the money for the Alltel acquisition, mainly to refinance the debt I guess. It wasn’t long ago that there wasn’t even short term paper available, so this crack in the door of the credit markets is a good sign. Of course, they didn’t tell us the interest rate and the size of the deal may have sucked all the remaining oxygen out of the room for a while, but still. These days, one can’t be too picky when it comes to such things.
Almost simultaneously, the FTC gave its blessing to the deal, which seems to be the last hurdle since the FCC and Justice department have already consented. It looks like the deal will now close soon after New Years, just before Barack Obama takes over the reigns of power which probably isn’t a coincidence. While I doubt the new administration would interfere at this point, Verizon probably doesn’t want to tempt anyone. After all, given the recent excoriation of FCC Chairman Kevin Martin by top congressional Democrats, they may actually be planning to move quickly to reshape things.
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