April 3, 2006 Monday 9:31 AM Eastern Time
Copyright 2006, Inc.
By Scott Moritz, Senior Writer
From Lexis Nexis

Verizon (VZ:NYSE) plans to raise $3.7 billion from the sale of its Caribbean assets in three nations.

The New York phone giant says it has agreed to sell its holdings in the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Venezuela. Verizon owns Verizon Dominicana, and it holds a 52% stake in Puerto Rico Telephone. The company also owns a 28.5% interest in Compania Anonima Nacional Telefonos de Venezuela (VNT:).

The operations will be sold in three separate transactions to Latin American wireless telco America Movil (AMX:NYSE) and to a company it owns jointly with Telmex (TMX:NYSE).

Verizon has been looking to sell various phone properties to raise cash, help pay down debt and possibly acquire the remaining 45% stake in Verizon Wireless, which it owns with Vodafone (VOD:NYSE ADR).

Verizon shares closed at $34.06 Friday.