Vast Broadband buying NTS Communications

Jan. 9, 2019
Vast Broadband, a provider of high-speed Internet, video, and voice services to more than 55,000 residential and business customers in ...

Vast Broadband, a provider of high-speed Internet, video, and voice services to more than 55,000 residential and business customers in South Dakota and Minnesota, has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire NTS Communications. NTS is a regional broadband fiber company offering high-speed data, video, and voice services to more than 20,000 residential and business customers in Texas and Louisiana.

Under the terms of the agreement, Vast will acquire the company from its current private equity owner, Tower Three Partners. After the closing of the NTS transaction, Oak Hill Capital Partners and Pamlico Capital will lead a recapitalization of Vast to support the company's accelerated growth plans.

NTS operates a fiber network spanning more than 2,700 owned route miles passing more than 60,000 homes and businesses in Texas markets of Lubbock, Amarillo, Abilene, Midland and Wichita Falls, and select markets in Louisiana. The senior management team at Vast, led by CEO Jim Gleason, CFO Keith Davidson, and COO Larry Eby, will join forces with local management at NTS following the transaction. The Vast team built NewWave Communications, a rural broadband company that grew to serve 160,000 subscribers, and has been operating Vast Broadband since 2014.

"We are thrilled to acquire the attractive NTS fiber assets and support NTS's talented local management team to better serve these customers and communities," said Gleason. "We are excited to launch our next stage of growth supported by long-term financial commitments from Oak Hill and Pamlico, and we look forward to investing in our network and service offerings across the combined footprint while continuing our focus on providing the highest quality service to our customers."

"We are delighted to form this new partnership with Vast's exceptional management team and Pamlico, and we look forward to supporting the next chapter of growth for the company. Vast and NTS have built impressive broadband communications networks and cultivated strong customer relationships throughout their local markets," said Adam Hahn, a principal at Oak Hill. Oak Hill Partners Scott Baker and Benjy Diesbach will join Hahn on the board following the transaction.

Pamlico Principal Andrew Tindel said, "We have enjoyed a successful long-term partnership with Jim Gleason and team dating back to our investment in NewWave Communications. We have a great deal of confidence in the Vast team and see tremendous opportunity for growth in the NTS markets." Pamlico Partners Art Roselle and Watts Hamrick will join Tindel on the board following the transaction.

"We are eager to build on our momentum in delivering robust, fiber-based communications at NTS with the added financial and operating resources from Vast," said Bill Morrow, CEO at NTS. "This transaction will benefit our customers, our employees and the local communities in which we operate."

The transaction is expected to close following satisfaction of customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Vast and NTS will work together to provide a smooth transition for customers and employees.

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