FairPoint’s bid for Verizon receives stockholder approval

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FairPoint Communications won its stockholders permission this morning to buy Verizon’s operations in northern New England.

Shareholders went along with a $2.7 billion deal that would give Fairpoint 1.5 million new landline telephone customers in Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.

The company also would take over Verizon’s 180,000 broadband computer accounts and 600,000 long-distance customers.

FairPoint Executive Vice President Walter Leach says the company must now win the approval of utilities regulators.

(Leach) We’re still on a schedule in all three states, Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire, to allow for approval by the end of the year, which would then enable us to close by the end of January 2008.

Vermont’s Public Service Board will be the first of the northern New England boards to take up the case.

The P.S.B. is scheduled to open two weeks of hearings on the planned sale on September fourth.

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