Consolidated Communications to divest Heartland Telecommunications

Consolidated Communications Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: CNSL), a provider of communications services across an 11-state footprint, says it has agreed to divest its holdings in Heartland Telecommunications Company of Iowa. The Heartland assets will be split between Mutual Telephone Co. of Sioux Center, IA (also known as Premier) and Winnebago Cooperative Telecom Association, which also operates in Iowa.

Consolidated Communications Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: CNSL), a provider of communications services across an 11-state footprint, says it has agreed to divest its holdings in Heartland Telecommunications Company of Iowa. The Heartland assets will be split between Mutual Telephone Co. of Sioux Center, IA (also known as Premier) and Winnebago Cooperative Telecom Association, which also operates in Iowa.

Consolidated will receive $22.5 million in cash for the assets, subject to certain contractual adjustments. The parties did not say how much Premier and Winnebago will pay individually. The closing is subject to customary regulatory approvals, which are expected to be completed in the second half of 2016.

Premier will acquire the Iowa exchanges of Akron, Boyden, Doon, Hawarden, Hull, Ireton, Rock Rapids, Rock Valley, and Sibley. Winnebago will acquire the Iowa exchanges of Bancroft and Lakota.

Consolidated says it has made the move to better focus on serving its core regions.

"Both Premier and Winnebago are uniquely positioned to provide exceptional service to customers in the rural areas of northwest Iowa," said Bob Udell, president and CEO of Consolidated Communications. "We expect this transaction will benefit customers, who can count on continued high levels of service and investment in their community from Premier and Winnebago."

Consolidated said the Heartland operation contributed approximately $7.0 million of revenue in fiscal 2015.

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