Consolidated to Acquire FairPoint

Consolidated Communications (NASDAQ:CNSL) has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire FairPoint Communications (NASDAQ:FRP), a ...

Consolidated expanding gigabit fiber to Willis, TX
Consolidated expanding gigabit fiber to Willis, TX

Consolidated Communications (NASDAQ:CNSL) has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire FairPoint Communications (NASDAQ:FRP), a business and broadband communications provider, in an all-stock merger transaction valued at approximately $1.5 billion, including debt.

The agreement and the proposed merger have been unanimously approved by the boards of directors at both companies. The transaction, which is expected to close by mid-2017, is subject to regulatory approvals and the approval of both Consolidated Communications' and FairPoint's shareholders.

The deal is expected to increase Consolidated's fiber network to 35,100 fiber route miles across 24 states and add more than 3,000 lit buildings and an extensive fiber-to-the-tower footprint. FairPoint, based in Charlotte, NC, has operations in 17 states, with the largest network in northern New England. FairPoint operates a fiber network of approximately 21,000 fiber route miles and has approximately 2,600 employees.

"This transaction combines two companies with extensive fiber networks and complementary strategies focusing on being the leading business and broadband solutions provider," said Bob Udell, president and chief executive officer of Consolidated Communications. "This merger positions Consolidated to leverage its extensive product and services portfolio and consultative sales approach across 24 states bringing advanced solutions and a better experience to customers. We are well positioned to ensure a smooth transition for customers and employees as we leverage a solid track record of successful integrations."

In addition to residential and business fiber networks, Consolidated also owns a number of cable systems, including those of SureWest, which it bought in July 2012.

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