DALLAS — Southwestern Bell Corp. said Thursday that it has agreed to buy the domestic cellular telephone business of Associated Communications Corp. in a $680-million stock swap.
The deal will boost Southwestern Bell's cellular phone operations in Upstate New York, where the company recently said it would buy another batch of cellular properties.
"This acquisition is in line with one of our major growth strategies, which is to expand wireless services into new national and international territories," said Edward Whitacre Jr., Southwestern Bell's chairman and chief executive.
The deal includes Associated's properties in Buffalo, Rochester, Albany and Glen Falls, N.Y.
In November, Southwestern Bell agreed to buy adjacent cellular phone properties in Syracuse, Ithaca and Utica. Terms of that sale, which is pending, were not disclosed.
"This offers a very natural cluster of cellular markets," said Walter Patterson, spokesman for Southwestern Bell Mobile Systems.
Southwestern Bell's stock closed up $1.25 at $38.75 on the New York Stock Exchange.
Under the deal, expected to close late this year, each share of Associated stock will be traded for a share of Southwestern Bell common stock worth more than $14.50. Associated stockholders will also receive shares of Spinco, a subsidiary composed of the assets Associated plans to keep.
Southwestern Bell will also buy Associated's 35.7% interest in a cellular system Pittsburgh and 3% interest in a system in the San Francisco Bay Area.
The deal is subject to the approval of Associated stockholders and regulatory agencies.