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Verizon IPO in 2Q or 3Q
February 7, 2001: 4:36 p.m. ET

Largest U.S. wireless-phone service provider to go public 2Q or 3Q this year
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NEW YORK (CNNfn) - Verizon Wireless, the largest U.S. wireless-phone service provider, expects to launch its IPO during the second or third quarter of this year, a company spokesman told

Timing of the new issue will depend on market conditions, said Verizon spokesman Jim Gerace, who also declined to comment on the size of the IPO.

In August, Verizon Wireless filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission for a $5 billion IPO. The offering, co-led by Goldman Sachs & Co. and Merrill Lynch & Co., was expected in September. However, in October, Verizon delayed the sale due to market volatility.

At $5 billion, the offering would fall well short of the $10.6 billion rival AT&T Wireless (AWE: Research, Estimates), the nation's No. 2 wireless concern, raised last April. However, if Verizon sticks with its $5 billion issue, it will rank nearly on par with the $5.5 billion IPO from United Parcel Service (UPS: Research, Estimates) last year.

graphicOn Tuesday, Verizon declined to comment on reports that joint-venture partner Vodafone would again seek to postpone the public offering.

Vodafone last year pooled its U.S. cellular phone assets held by its subsidiary Airtouch -- with those of Verizon Communications (VZ: Research, Estimates), which was formed out of Bell Atlantic Corp.'s purchase of GTE Corp. With some 27 million subscribers, Verizon is the biggest U.S. cellular phone service provider -- eclipsing AT&T Wireless and Sprint PCS.

New York-based Verizon Communications owns 55 percent of the wireless unit, while Vodafone owns 45 percent.

Vodafone also declined Tuesday to comment on reports that it would seek to boost its stake and take control of the wireless unit.

Verizon lost $1.45 to close at $52.95 Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange. graphic