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 GREENSBORO, N.C., Dec. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Vanguard Cellular Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: VCELA) announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement with Horizon Cellular Telephone Company to acquire, in separate transactions, control of the nonwireline cellular licenses for both the Altoona, Pennsylvania MSA and two of three counties within the Pennsylvania-10 RSA.
 Vanguard will purchase a controlling interest in the Altoona, PA MSA cellular system for $4.4 million and minority pops held by Vanguard in the Cumberland, MD MSA. Separately, Vanguard will acquire the cellular system serving Franklin and Fulton Counties (PA-10 East) in Horizon's Pennsylvania 10 RSA through an even exchange for the assets of Vanguard's Hagerstown, MD MSA.
 The Altoona market is adjacent to Vanguard's State College and PA-11 (Mifflin County) markets and expands the western border of the company's Pennsylvania Supersystem to the Pittsburgh/Johnstown region of western PA. PA-10 East is geographically continguous with Altoona as well, sharing borders, major highways and a community of interest with Vanguard's Harrisburg, York and PA-11 (Mifflin County) markets.
 "This consolidation makes sense for Vanguard, our operating partners, and Horizon," commented Vanguard's Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Stephen R. Leeolou. "It enhances opportunities for improving operational efficiencies and for providing higher quality, expanded regional service offerings to our respective subscribers." Leeolou added, "These transactions, along with our recently announced acquisition of the PA-12 (Lebanon, PA) RSA, increase Vanguard's net Pennsylvania Supersystem pops to 4.2 million which is a larger aggregate population base than that of Boston, the nation's 7th largest metropolitan area."
 These transactions are subject to certain conditions including FCC approval. They are expected to close by mid-year 1994.
 Vanguard Cellular Systems, Inc., headquartered in Greensboro, N.C., owns and operates cellular telephone systems in the eastern United States. Based on its 6.5 million "pops," including net pops to be acquired in this transaction, Vanguard is the largest pure-play independent operator of solely nonwireline cellular systems in the United States.
 -0- 12/1/93
 /CONTACT: Stan Haines, 919-545-2100, or Rich Preyer, 919-545-2203, both of Vanguard Cellular/

CO: Vanguard Cellular Systems, Inc.; Horizon Cellular Telephone Company ST: North Carolina, Pennsylvania IN: TLS SU: LIC

CM -- CH010 -- 9499 12/01/93 17:20 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Dec 1, 1993

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