Telephone and Data Systems, Inc. (NYSE: TDS), the parent company to TDS Telecom, reports that it has agreed to acquire substantially all of the assets of a group of companies operating as BendBroadband, headquartered in Bend, OR, for a purchase price of $261 million.
BendBroadband offers a range of broadband, fiber-optic network connectivity, cable television, and telephone services for commercial and residential customers in Central Oregon. The agreement also includes two affiliated companies operated by BendBroadband: BendBroadband Vault, a Tier 3 data center providing colocation and managed services, and Zolo Media, a cable advertising and broadcast business.
As of the end of last year, BendBroadband passed approximately 79,000 homes and businesses, with approximately 36,000 video subscribers, 41,000 high-speed broadband subscribers, and 22,000 digital voice subscribers. BendBroadband says its entire network is equipped to deliver high-speed, high-capacity broadband and video services.
BendBroadband generated annual revenues of $70 million in 2013 and has approximately 280 employees. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2014 pending regulatory approvals and other conditions.
“BendBroadband’s strong market position and technology leadership will help us achieve significant forward momentum in our cable strategy,” said David A. Wittwer, president and CEO, TDS Telecom. “We will leverage BendBroadband’s considerable expertise across our growing cable business, driving residential and commercial growth by delivering competitive broadband, video, and managed services over the high-capacity network. We share BendBroadband’s vision of being a trusted partner to our customers and communities, and growing profitably through quality, service, and innovation.”
“TDS is a longstanding, family-controlled company that shares our commitment to our customers, our employees and our communities. With TDS, we will keep hundreds of good jobs in Central Oregon,” said Amy Tykeson, president and CEO, BendBroadband. “I am proud of the customer-centered company we have built over 30 years, and I believe TDS is the right fit for our culture and values, and for our future. I want to reassure our customers that there will be no interruption in service, and BendBroadband will remain a strong partner to our Central Oregon communities.”
“We are building a high-quality cable business that will deliver value over the long term. BendBroadband’s culture of innovation and its attractive market demographics make it a strategic addition to our cable, broadband and data center portfolio,” said LeRoy T. Carlson Jr., president and CEO, Telephone and Data Systems. “We are committed to investing resources in adjacent businesses like cable, where we can leverage our expertise and competencies to support profitable growth.”
Telephone and Data Systems, Inc. is a Fortune 500 company providing wireless services; cable and wireline broadband, TV, and voice; and hosted and managed services to approximately 5.9 million customers nationwide through its business units, U.S. Cellular, TDS Telecom, OneNeck IT Solutions and Baja Broadband. Headquartered in Chicago, TDS employed 10,500 people as of December 31, 2013.
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