Verizon sells TSI unit to GTCR for $800M

Verizon Communications on Monday announced that it would sell its TSI Telecommunication Services Inc. subsidiary to private capital management firm GTCR Golder Rauner LLC for approximately US$800 million. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter 2002.

TSI provides services that facilitate mobile phone roaming between networks, including billing, transaction, network interoperability and other services.

TSI has 800 employees, most of whom are based in Tampa, Florida, which is also the site of the company's headquarters, Verizon said. Edward Evans, former president and chief executive officer (CEO) of Dobson Communications Corp., will become CEO of TSI, according to GTCR.

In a statement, GTCR cited what it considers TSI's strong product and services offerings, customer service and market position as factors in the purchase.

Verizon divested itself of TSI in order to focus on its core residential and business communications operations, the company said in a statement. TSI was not a drag on Verizon's finances, however, as the company had been funding itself "for some time," according to the release.

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