Atlantic Tele-Network (ATN) yesterday announced a definitive agreement to pay $200 million for assets related to Verizon Wireless’ divesture of properties associated with its Alltel acquisition.

ATN shares were up more than 45 percent this morning, trading at around $38.

Under terms of the agreement, ATN will acquire wireless properties, including spectrum licenses and network assets, serving more than 800,000 subscribers primarily in rural areas across Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Illinois, Ohio and Idaho. Verizon Wireless is required to divest the properties as part of the regulatory approvals granted for its purchase of Alltel earlier this year.

ATN will purchase the assets for $200 million in cash.

The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals, but ATN expects the transaction to close in the third or fourth quarter.

The purchase will give ATN a presence in more than 10 states. Including its international operations, the company expects to have more than 1 million retail wireless subscribers by the time the transaction closes.

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