Verizon-Fairpoint Deal Under Review

Due to a disparity in interest rates, New Hampshire and Vermont regulators will hold separate emergency meetings Sunday to reconsider Verizon's $2.35 billion sale of its voice and Internet land lines in northern New England to North Carolina-based FairPoint Communications. Fairpoint had tried this week to sell $550 million in bonds to help finance the purchase, but the best interest rate it could get was 13.5%, higher than the 8.5% the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission had anticipated when it green-lighted the deal. The higher rate will cost FairPoint $17 million more per year in interest payments on the 10-year bonds. "It does affect the financing significantly in our case," said Donald Kreis, general counsel for the commission. Nevertheless, FairPoint and Verizon hope to close the deal Monday.

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