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GCI acquires stake in fiber optic cable system

Posted: Thursday, February 22, 2001

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- CGI announced Wednesday it is acquiring an 85 percent controlling interest in the corporation that owns the 800-mile fiber optic cable system extending from Prudhoe Bay to Valdez.

Worldcom Inc. currently owns an 85 percent stake in the the fiber optic system that will be operated as GCI Fiber Communication Co. The other 15 percent is owned by Arctic Slope Regional Corp., Ahtna Inc., and Chugach Alaska Corp.

Under terms of the deal, GCI will issue shares of a new series of Class C preferred stock valued at $10 million to WorldCom. The stock is convertable at $12 per share into GCI's Class A common stock. The new stock is nonvoting and pays a quarterly cash dividend of 6 percent.

GCI said it plans to enhance the fiber optic system and incorporate it into its operations control systems.

The Regulatory Commission of Alaska must approve the transaction.

GCI President Ron Duncan said the transaction enhances GCI's broadband capabilities, reaffirms a strategic alliance between GCI and WorldCom, and moves ownership and management of the broadband facility onto Alaska-based and operated providers.



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