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Centennial Communications and ATT update timetable

Deal now expected to close in third quarter of the year.The $944 million deal to acquire regional wireless and landline communications company Centennial Communications Corp. (Nasdaq: CYL), in Wall, has a new closing date.

Centennial has some 1.1 million wireless subscribers in rural areas in the southeastern and midwestern United States, as well as Puerto Rice and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The company also operates landlines in Puerto Rico.

Centennial said the acquisition by AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), in Dallas, is expected to close in the third quarter of the year, pending regulatory approvals and other conditions. AT&T previously had sought to close the deal by the second quarter.

AT&T and Centennial announced the $944 million acquisition deal last November. Centennial shareholders will receive $8.50 per share in cash.

The deal is pending approvals from the Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Justice. Centennial’s shareholders gave their consent in February.

In May, AT&T said it agreed sell part of certain assets of Centennial’s wireless business, including 120,000 subscribers, to Verizon Wireless for $240 million. The sale of assets to Verizon Wireless, based in the Basking Ridge section of Bernards, is contingent upon the closure of the Centennial acquisition, and is expected to be completed by the fourth quarter.

Email to jpruth@njbiz.com

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