by Max Brantley
Talk Business is first in my in-box with the news. Price: $28 billion, a bit more than the investment group paid to acquire it last year. But it looks like the investors might make a billion on the flip. Here's Arkansas Business' update.
LR job outlook? Cloudy.
UPDATE: Lots of Little Rock working schlubs may get the boot thanks to this deal, but the guys in the executive suites -- Scott Ford et. al. -- will score some big paydays, Arkansas Business reports.
Arkansas Business also has the memo sent to Alltel employees today. No time to panic, the execs intone. Easy for them to say. It is true that there won't be any immediate changes and most that are to come won't happen until after the deal closes -- if it does -- by the end of the year.
Talk Business reports on another memo urging Alltel employees to keep working. Company officials will meet the press at 2 p.m. today. There may be some statements about future employment in Little Rock. The key will be representations about the long term, not the remainder of 2008.
Beebe statement on the jump. And, oh yeah, Jim Harris notes, that arena over in Argenta might be due for a name change eventually.
MIKE BEEBE STATEMENT
"Arkansas welcomes Verizon's expanded presence in our State. While Verizon Wireless has already been providing service here for several years, it will now have a more complete picture of Arkansas hospitality and the commitment of our workforce.
In acquiring Alltel, Verizon is obtaining a company with deep Arkansas roots and qualified, dedicated employees. I hope those attributes will resonate strongly as decisions are made about how best to incorporate Alltel into the Verizon family." -- Governor Mike Beebe
Yes, well, but will Verizon's expansion in Arkansas be a net gain, net loss or wash of jobs? That is the question.