ANCHORAGE, Alaska--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sept. 2, 2003--Alaska Communications Systems Group, Inc. (ACS) (Nasdaq:ALSK), the leading integrated communications provider in Alaska, announced today that it has exercised its rights under an exchange agreement to convert substantially all of its interest in ACS Media, LLC into 2.5 million units of the ACS Media Income Fund and has simultaneously entered into an agreement with CIBC World Markets to sell those units to the public in Canada. The sale, which closed Friday, August 29, 2003, will result in over $17 million of net proceeds to the Company. ACS expects to record a gain during the third quarter of 2003 of approximately $16 million as a result of the sale.
"Following our refinancing which we completed earlier this week, the sale of most of our remaining interest in ACS Media has further strengthened ACS' balance sheet and created value for our investors," stated Kevin Hemenway, ACS Senior Vice President and CFO. "As a result, ACS is well positioned to continue as the leading integrated communications provider in Alaska. We look forward to continuing our meaningful long-term business relationship with ACS Media centered upon a 50-year contract which establishes them as the provider of the Official ACS Yellow Pages."
Prior to the exchange, ACS held a 12.6% ownership interest in the ACS Media LLC operating company. After the transaction closes, ACS will own a 0.10% interest in ACS Media, LLC, but will continue its close relationship through a number of long-term contracts.
About Alaska Communications Systems -- ACS is the leading integrated, facilities-based telecommunications services provider in Alaska, offering local telephone, wireless, Internet and interexchange services to business and residential customers throughout Alaska. ACS currently services approximately 339,000 lines, 83,000 wireless customers, 45,000 Internet customers, and 44,000 long distance customers. More information can be found on the Company's website at http://www.alsk.com.
Cautionary Notice Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
In addition to historical information, this release includes forward-looking statements, estimates and projections that are based on current expectations only, and are subject to a number of risks, uncertainties and assumptions, many of which are beyond the control of Alaska Communications. Actual events and results may differ materially from those anticipated, estimated or projected if one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or if underlying assumptions prove incorrect. Factors that could affect actual results include but are not limited to: rapid technological developments and changes in the telecommunications industries; ongoing deregulation in the telecommunications industry as a result of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 and other similar federal and state legislation and the federal and state rules and regulations enacted pursuant to that legislation; regulatory limitations on the Company's ability to change its pricing for communications services; the possible future unavailability of SFAS No. 71 to the Company's wireline subsidiaries; and possible changes in the demand for the Company's products and services. In addition to these factors, actual future performance, outcomes and results may differ materially because of other, more general, factors including (without limitation) changes in general industry and market conditions and growth rates; changes in interest rates or other general national, regional or local economic conditions; governmental and public policy changes; changes in accounting policies or practices adopted voluntarily or as required by accounting principles generally accepted in the United States; and the continued availability of financing in the amounts, at the terms and on the conditions necessary to support the Company's future business. These and other uncertainties related to the Company's business are described in greater detail in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2002. The information contained in this release is as of September 2, 2003. The Company undertakes no obligation to update or revise any of this information whether as a result of new information, future events or developments, or otherwise.