M&A Deal Summary

AT&T and Dobson Communications Acquires American Cellular corp.

On February 26, 2000, AT&T, Inc. and Dobson Communications Corp. acquired communications company American Cellular corp. from LLM Capital Partners LLC, Arcade Partners LLC, Catalyst Investors, Generation Partners, Sandler Capital Management, Trident Capital, Inc., Spectrum Equity and Providence Equity Partners for 2.4B USD

Acquisition Highlights
  • This is AT&T’s 5th and Dobson Communications’ 2nd transaction in the Communications sector.
  • This is AT&T’s 6th and Dobson Communications’ 1st largest (disclosed) transaction.
  • This is AT&T’s 6th and Dobson Communications’ 2nd transaction in the United States.
  • This is AT&T’s 1st and Dobson Communications’ 1st transaction in Tennessee.

Target

American Cellular corp.

Franklin, Tennessee, United States
website
American Cellular was one of the largest independent rural cellular telephone system operators in the U.S. The Company owned and operated non-wireline FCC-licensed cellular telephone systems primarily in rural areas of the Midwestern and Eastern portions of the U.S. American Cellular was acquired by a joint venture between AT&T and Dobson.

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Buyer(S) 2

Buyer

AT&T, Inc.

Dallas, Texas, United States

website


Category Company
Founded 1983
SectorCommunications
Employees228,470
Revenue 171.8B USD (2020)
DESCRIPTION
AT&T's corporate headquarters in downtown Dallas, Texas.
AT&T's corporate headquarters in downtown Dallas, Texas.

AT&T is a provider of telecommunications services in the United States and the world. AT&T offers services and products to consumers in the US and services and products to businesses and other providers of telecommunications services worldwide. AT&T's services and products include wireless communications, local exchange services, long-distance services, data/broadband and Internet services, video services, telecommunications equipment, managed networking, and wholesale services. AT&T was formed in 1983 and is based in Dallas, Texas.


DEAL STATS #
Overall 7 of 36
Sector (Communications) 5 of 18
Type (Add-on Acquisition) 6 of 30
State (Tennessee) 1 of 1
Country (United States) 6 of 31
Year (2000) 2 of 3
Size (of disclosed) 6 of 16
PREVIOUS DEAL
DATE TARGET DEAL TYPE VALUE
2000-02-14 Wireless One Network LP

Ft. Myers, Florida, United States

Wireless One Network LP was a cellular telephone operator in southwest Florida, including Naples, Fort Myers, and the Florida panhandle region.

Buy -
FOLLOWING DEAL
DATE TARGET DEAL TYPE VALUE
2000-08-01 net2phone, Inc.

Newark, New Jersey, United States

net2phone, Inc. is a provider of cloud based telephony services. net2phone's flagship hosted PBX service offers its channel partners the opportunity to uncover significant recurring revenues, enjoy customer retention, and add new services to, or even build, their own brands.

Buy $1.1B
Buyer

Dobson Communications Corp.

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States

website


Category Company
Founded 1936
SectorCommunications
Employees2,500
DESCRIPTION

Dobson Communications Corp. is a communications provider in rural and suburban areas of Alaska, Arizona, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin.


DEAL STATS #
Overall 2 of 2
Sector (Communications) 2 of 2
Type (Add-on Acquisition) 2 of 2
State (Tennessee) 1 of 1
Country (United States) 2 of 2
Year (2000) 1 of 1
Size (of disclosed) 1 of 1
PREVIOUS DEAL
DATE TARGET DEAL TYPE VALUE
1998-12-30 Sygnet Wireless, Inc.

Canfield, Ohio, United States

Sygnet Wireless, Inc. is a operator of cellular systems in Ohio, Pennsylvania and western New York.

Buy -

Seller(S) 8

SELLER

LLM Capital Partners LLC

Boston, Massachusetts, United States

website


Category Growth Capital Firm
Founded 1991
SizeSmall
Type Sector Agnostic
DESCRIPTION

LLM Capital Partners LLC is a private equity firm that makes growth capital investments in mid-sized companies. The Firm's investment strategy is to provide $10 to $30 million of non-control growth funding to businesses with enterprise values between $15 and $250 million. Broad sectors of interest include healthcare services, business services and niche manufacturing. LLM Capital was formed in 1991 and has offices in Boston, Massachusetts and San Francisco, California.


DEAL STATS #
Overall 3 of 18
Sector (Communications) 1 of 1
Type (Add-on Acquisition) 2 of 8
State (Tennessee) 1 of 2
Country (United States) 3 of 18
Year (2000) 1 of 1
Size (of disclosed) 1 of 4
PREVIOUS DEAL
DATE TARGET DEAL TYPE VALUE
1999-10-01 IASIS Healthcare Corp.

Franklin, Tennessee, United States

IASIS Healthcare Corp. is an owner and operator of medium-sized acute care hospitals in high-growth urban and suburban markets. Additionally, IASIS owns and operates a Medicaid managed health plan in Phoenix that serves over 108,000 members. IASIS Healthcare was formed in 1998 and is based in Franklin, Tennessee.

Buy -
FOLLOWING DEAL
DATE TARGET DEAL TYPE VALUE
2001-02-03 Ballard Petroleum Resources

Billings, Montana, United States

Ballard Petroleum was an independent energy company primarily engaged in the acquisition and development of natural gas and oil properties in the Rocky Mountain region. Ballard owned or had a working interest in over 330 wells located in Colorado, Montana, Utah and Wyoming. Ballard was acquired by Alberta Energy.

Sell $225M
SELLER

Arcade Partners LLC

West Hartford, Connecticut, United States

Investor Investor

website


Category Private Equity Firm
Founded 2003
SizeSmall
Type Sector Agnostic
DESCRIPTION

Arcade Partners is a private investment partnership that targets middle market buyouts and recapitalizations. Arcade seeks light manufacturing and service based businesses with recurring revenues. Arcade targets profitable companies with minimum EBITDA of $4 to $25 million. Arcade Partners is based in West Hartford, Connecticut.


DEAL STATS #
Overall 3 of 6
Sector (Communications) 1 of 2
Type (Add-on Acquisition) 3 of 3
State (Tennessee) 2 of 2
Country (United States) 3 of 6
Year (2000) 1 of 1
Size (of disclosed) 1 of 1
PREVIOUS DEAL
DATE TARGET DEAL TYPE VALUE
1999-07-07 Angioguard, Inc.

Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States

Angioguard, Inc. is a developer of medical devices for coronary and carotid interventional applications.

Sell -
FOLLOWING DEAL
DATE TARGET DEAL TYPE VALUE
2000-03-01 American Reprographics Co., LLC

Walnut Creek, California, United States

American Reprographics Company (Fund IV) is the largest reprographics company in the U.S., providing document management services to the architectural, engineering and construction industries and to other industries that require sophisticated document management services. ARC operates 177 reprographics service centers in the United States and Canada. The company's common stock is publicly-traded under the symbol 'ARP.' The company is headquartered in Walnut Creek, California.

Buy -
SELLER

Catalyst Investors

New York, New York, United States

Investor Investor Investor Investor Investor

website


Category Venture Capital Firm
Founded 1999
PE ASSETS 377M USD
SizeMiddle-Market
Type Sector Focused
DESCRIPTION

Catalyst Investors is a specialist private equity firm that targets investments in the media, communications and internet services industries. Specific areas of interest include, video and audio content and distribution, print and online publishing, out-of-home advertising, music publishing, wireless voice and data, wireless spectrum and other infrastructure, outsourced applications providers / software as a service (SAAS), subscription based services, and online advertising. Catalyst looks for the growth companies located in the US and Canada requiring $10 to $60 million in capital. Catalyst prefers businesses with 'high-margin economics', 'defensible market positions', and 'recurring revenues'. Catalyst was formed in 1999 and is based in New York.


DEAL STATS #
Overall 10 of 37
Sector (Communications) 5 of 12
Type (Add-on Acquisition) 4 of 18
State (Tennessee) 2 of 2
Country (United States) 10 of 35
Year (2000) 2 of 2
Size (of disclosed) 4 of 10
PREVIOUS DEAL
DATE TARGET DEAL TYPE VALUE
2000-02-14 Wireless One Network LP

Ft. Myers, Florida, United States

Wireless One Network LP was a cellular telephone operator in southwest Florida, including Naples, Fort Myers, and the Florida panhandle region.

Sell -
FOLLOWING DEAL
DATE TARGET DEAL TYPE VALUE
2001-01-01 Alaska Native Wireless LLC

Anchorage, Arkansas, United States

Alaska Native Wireless LLC develop wireless systems and to purchase C and F block PCS licenses auctioned by the FCC.

Buy -
SELLER

Generation Partners

Greenwich, Connecticut, United States

Investor Investor Investor Investor

website


Category Private Equity Firm
Founded 1995
PE ASSETS 1.0B USD
SizeLarge
Type Sector Agnostic
DESCRIPTION

Generation Partners is a private equity firm focused on growth companies at various stages of development. Generation looks to commit $10 to $50 million of equity capital per investment. The Firm is a hands-on investor, helping managers take their companies to the next level. Areas of interest include business, information, and consumer services; media, communications and entertainment; and healthcare services and technology. Generation will consider both majority and minority positions. Generation Partners was formed in 1995 and has offices in Greenwich, Connecticut; Austin, Texas; and San Francisco, California.


DEAL STATS #
Overall 3 of 14
Sector (Communications) 1 of 1
Type (Add-on Acquisition) 1 of 5
State (Tennessee) 1 of 1
Country (United States) 3 of 14
Year (2000) 2 of 2
Size (of disclosed) 1 of 3
PREVIOUS DEAL
DATE TARGET DEAL TYPE VALUE
2000-01-01 Promatory Communications

Fremont,, California, United States

Promatory was a development stage company designing ATM access switches for telecommunications carriers. The switches supported multiple Digital Subscriber Line (“DSL”) technologies. The company’s hardware was installed at a telephone company’s central offices to significantly increase bandwidth to their customers over the existing copper wire infrastructure. The increasing demand for bandwidth from both residential and business customers was expected to drive demand for several different competing solutions, such as DSL technologies and cable modems.

Sell -
FOLLOWING DEAL
DATE TARGET DEAL TYPE VALUE
2001-01-01 Agility Recovery Solutions, Inc.

Charlotte, North Carolina, United States

Agility Recovery Solutions, Inc. is a provider of robust and easy-to-implement business continuity and disaster recovery solutions to businesses of all sizes, including access to power generators, office space, communications and computer systems. Agility Recovery Solutions was founded in 1989 and is based in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Buy -
SELLER

Sandler Capital Management

New York, New York, United States

Investor Investor Investor Investor Investor

website


Category Asset Manager
Founded 1990
PE ASSETS 1.6B USD
SizeLarge
Type Sector Agnostic
DESCRIPTION

Sandler Capital Management is a private investment firm that manages both hedge funds and private equity funds. Sandler's private equity practice was established in 1990, which targets investments in the media, communications, entertainment and marketing/information services sectors. Sandler will consider minority or majority positions and has a target investment size of $5 to $60 million per transaction. Sandler Capital is based in New York City.


DEAL STATS #
Overall 1 of 10
Sector (Communications) 1 of 5
Type (Add-on Acquisition) 1 of 8
State (Tennessee) 1 of 1
Country (United States) 1 of 9
Year (2000) 1 of 1
Size (of disclosed) 2 of 6
PREVIOUS DEAL
DATE TARGET DEAL TYPE VALUE
1998-03-09 American Cellular corp.

Franklin, Tennessee, United States

American Cellular was one of the largest independent rural cellular telephone system operators in the U.S. The Company owned and operated non-wireline FCC-licensed cellular telephone systems primarily in rural areas of the Midwestern and Eastern portions of the U.S. American Cellular was acquired by a joint venture between AT&T and Dobson.

Buy -
FOLLOWING DEAL
DATE TARGET DEAL TYPE VALUE
2002-05-01 AAT Communications LLC

Boca Raton, Florida, United States

AAT Communications LLC is a provider of wireless tower sites, serving major wireless carriers and a premier group of site-management clients.

Buy -
SELLER

Trident Capital, Inc.

San Mateo, California, United States

website


Category Private Equity Firm
Founded 1993
PE ASSETS 1.9B USD
SizeLarge
Type Sector Focused
DESCRIPTION

Trident Capital was a venture capital firm focused on investments at all company stages, from early and expansion stage investments to buyouts and recapitalizations. Trident focused on investments in tech-enabled sectors, including enterprise software/services, outsourcing and payments, healthcare software/services, internet/consumer, and energy/clean tech. In 2015, Trident ceased investing and the Firm's employees split to form Sunstone Partners, a growth equity firm, and Trident Capital Cybersecurity, a venture firm focused on the cyber security sector.


DEAL STATS #
Overall 8 of 84
Sector (Communications) 1 of 2
Type (Add-on Acquisition) 6 of 62
State (Tennessee) 1 of 1
Country (United States) 8 of 79
Year (2000) 1 of 5
Size (of disclosed) 1 of 21
PREVIOUS DEAL
DATE TARGET DEAL TYPE VALUE
2000-02-16 IPIX Corp.

Reston, Virginia, United States

IPIX is a virtual tour service for the Internet.

Buy -
FOLLOWING DEAL
DATE TARGET DEAL TYPE VALUE
2000-04-03 REZsolutions, Inc.

Dallas, Texas, United States

REZsolutions Inc., the worldwide leader in technology and marketing solutions for the hospitality industry, announced the release of the 1999 Marketing Planning Guide, an updated and expanded products and services guide.

Sell -
SELLER

Spectrum Equity

Boston, Massachusetts, United States

Investor Investor Investor Investor Investor

website


Category Private Equity Firm
Founded 1994
PE ASSETS 4.7B USD
SizeLarge
Type Sector Focused
DESCRIPTION

Spectrum Equity Management L.P. is a private equity investor focused on service businesses. Spectrum specifically targets established businesses in the media, communications, IT, information, and business services industries. The Firm looks to commit $25 to $100 million of equity capital per transaction and focuses on opportunities throughout North America and Western Europe. Prospective transaction situations include leveraged buyouts, recapitalizations, acquisition financings, and secondary purchases. Spectrum Equity Investors was formed in 1994 and has offices in Boston, Massachusetts and Menlo Park, California.


DEAL STATS #
Overall 4 of 63
Sector (Communications) 1 of 9
Type (Add-on Acquisition) 3 of 39
State (Tennessee) 1 of 2
Country (United States) 4 of 56
Year (2000) 3 of 3
Size (of disclosed) 5 of 27
PREVIOUS DEAL
DATE TARGET DEAL TYPE VALUE
2000-01-17 Geneva Technology, Inc.

Portsmouth, New Hampshire, United States

Geneva Technology, Inc., is a provider of innovative billing software for telecommunications, Internet, utilities and online services providers primarily for the European marketplace.

Buy -
FOLLOWING DEAL
DATE TARGET DEAL TYPE VALUE
2001-03-07 Geneva Technology, Inc.

Portsmouth, New Hampshire, United States

Geneva Technology, Inc., is a provider of innovative billing software for telecommunications, Internet, utilities and online services providers primarily for the European marketplace.

Sell $700M
SELLER

Providence Equity Partners

Providence, Rhode Island, United States

Investor Investor Investor Investor Investor

website


Category Private Equity Firm
Founded 1989
PE ASSETS 57.0B USD
SizeMega
Type Sector Agnostic
DESCRIPTION

Providence Equity Partners is a specialist private equity firm that targets investments in media, entertainment, communications, and information companies. Specifically, Providence seeks investments in wireless and wireline telephony, cable television content and distribution, music, film, publishing, radio and television broadcasting, and other media and communications sectors. Providence Equity looks to commit $150 million to $800 million of equity capital in transactions ranging from growth financings and recapitalizations, to buyouts and take-privates. Providence Equity Partners was formed in 1989 and has offices in Providence, Rhode Island; New York, New York; Los Angeles, California; London, United Kingdom; Hong Kong, China; and New Delhi, India.


DEAL STATS #
Overall 6 of 89
Sector (Communications) 6 of 16
Type (Add-on Acquisition) 3 of 36
State (Tennessee) 1 of 4
Country (United States) 5 of 63
Year (2000) 1 of 2
Size (of disclosed) 11 of 35
PREVIOUS DEAL
DATE TARGET DEAL TYPE VALUE
1999-09-15 UOL

Sao Paulo, Brazil

UOL is a leading Latin American internet service provider.

Buy -
FOLLOWING DEAL
DATE TARGET DEAL TYPE VALUE
2000-05-08 Verio, Inc.

Englewood, Colorado, United States

Verio, Inc. is a provider of web hosting and managed services to small- and medium-sized businesses.

Sell $5.5B