Consolidated Communications sells Virginia properties to focus on FairPoint

Consolidated Communications Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:CNSL) says it has agreed to sell its Virginia properties, Peoples Mutual Telephone Company and Peoples Mutual Long Distance Company, to RiverStreet Management Services, LLC, doing business as RiverStreet Networks, a subsidiary of Wilkes Communications. According to Consolidated, it is selling the properties to better focus on serving its core regions, as it did in May of 2016 when the company divested its holdings in Heartland Telecommunications Company of Iowa.

Consolidated Communications Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:CNSL) says it has agreed to sell its Virginia properties, Peoples Mutual Telephone Company and Peoples Mutual Long Distance Company, to RiverStreet Management Services, LLC, doing business as RiverStreet Networks, a subsidiary of Wilkes Communications. According to Consolidated, it is selling the properties to better focus on serving its core regions, as it did in May of 2016 when the company divested its holdings in Heartland Telecommunications Company of Iowa (see "Consolidated Communications to divest Heartland Telecommunications").

Consolidated also says it will be able to focus on the integration of FairPoint Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: FRP), which it bought in December of last year, as a result of the divestiture (see "Consolidated Communications to buy FairPoint, sells enterprise/IT services equipment biz").

A local exchange carrier, Peoples delivers telecommunications services to residents and businesses in the Virginia communities of Gretna, Hurt, Renan, and Sandy Level. In fiscal 2016, Consolidated’s Virginia operations contributed approximately $6.5 million of revenue. The company says it will sell the Virginia properties in an all-cash transaction for approximately $21 million, subject to certain contractual adjustments. The closing is subject to customary regulatory approvals, which Consolidated expects to be finished in the first quarter of 2018.

"We are very excited to enter into this agreement and expand our service area into Virginia strengthening our position as a technology partner in the region," said Eric Cramer, Wilkes Communications, and RiverStreet Networks president and chief executive officer. "We look forward to serving the customers of Virginia and expect a seamless transition upon closing."

Wilkes Communications developed RiverStreet Networks after completing a fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) network to all of its members, to provide technology innovations to untraditional cooperative markets, and currently serves residential and commercial subscribers in parts of 26 North Carolina counties.

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