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GTE-LED CONSORTIUM HAS HIGHEST BID ON VENEZUELAN TELEPHONE-COMPANY PRIVATIZATION

            GTE-LED CONSORTIUM HAS HIGHEST BID ON VENEZUELAN
                     TELEPHONE-COMPANY PRIVATIZATION
    CARACAS, Venezuela, Nov. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- A GTE-led international consortium has submitted the apparent highest bid of U.S. $1.885 billion for a 40 percent share of the Venezuelan telephone company, CANTV (Compania Anonima Nacional Telefonos de Venezuela).
    The bids were opened here today, and the highest bidder announced by the Venezuelan Minister of Transportation and Communications Roberto Smith at a public ceremony.  Official notice of the winning bid is expected shortly.
    GTE plans to contribute at least 51 percent of the bid, and is currently in discussions with other consortium members with regard to their percentage participation in the bid.  GTE does not expect its final participation to be more than 60 percent.
    The other consortium members are:  AT&T International Inc. (U.S.); T.I.Telefonica Internacional de Espana, S.A. (Spain); C.A. La Electricidad de Caracas, S.A.I.C.A.-S.A.C.A. (Venezuela); and, Consorcio Inversionista Mercantil Cima (CIMA), C.A., S.A.C.A., S.A.I.C.A. (Venezuela).
    "This win supports GTE's focus on telecommunications and our strategy to seek international opportunities that will provide profitable growth for GTE and its shareholders," said James L. "Rocky" Johnson, chairman and chief executive officer.  "Privatization of CANTV is a very positive step forward for Venezuela and a great business opportunity for the GTE consortium.
    "Venezuela's economy and people will benefit tremendously from a more modern and efficient telecommunications network," Johnson said. "GTE and its partners have the experience and resources necessary to meet the growing demand for quality telecommunications services in Venezuela."
    GTE is the largest U.S.-based local-telephone company, providing service for about 19 million access lines in 40 states, the Dominican Republic and parts of Canada.
    "AT&T is the leading U.S. provider of domestic and international long-distance services and operates the world's largest long-distance network.  Telefonica Internacional de Espana is a subsidiary of the national telephone company of Spain that successfully manages phone systems in Chile and Argentina," Johnson added.  "La Electricidad de Caracas and Cima will contribute their useful and valuable experience in running successful businesses in Venezuela.
    "The people of Venezuela can expect immediate action from the GTE consortium to improve the country's telephone system and to meet their growing telecommunications needs," Johnson said.
    GTE plans to install more than 180,000 new digital lines in the country next year, as well as installing testing devices that can identify service problems even before customers notice them.
    GTE Telephone Operations will manage GTE's interests in CANTV.  It is the largest of GTE's business groups, providing local phone service through about 19 million access lines in portions of 40 states and two other countries.  GTE is a worldwide leader in telecommunications, with combined revenues and sales in 1990 of $21.4 billion and net income of $1.7 billion.  It is the largest U.S.-based local-telephone company and the second-largest cellular-service provider in the United States.  GTE has approximately 175,000 employees worldwide.
    AT&T operates the United States' largest domestic and international long-distance network, and is one of the world's leading manufacturers of telecommunications equipment and computers for industry, business and consumers.  AT&T and its computer company, NCR, together had 1990 sales of more than $43.5 billion, and net income of more than $3 billion. AT&T has a total of 325,000 employees worldwide.
    -0-       11/15/91
    /CONTACTS:  John Wallace, 214-718-4015, or after 6 p.m. CST, 817-329-1329; Richard A. Jones, 214-718-6924, of after 6 p.m., 214-931-5447; Dorea Akers, 203-965-3188, or after 6 p.m., 203-968-2360; In Washington, Julia Spicer, 202-463-5206, or after 6 p.m., 202-797-0715/ CO:  GTE Corporation ST:  Connecticut IN:  TLS SU: SM -- NY064 -- 1589 11/15/91 13:26 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 15, 1991
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