Vast Broadband to acquire NTS Communications and gain funding

Vast Broadband, which provides triple-play services to more than 55,000 residential and business customers in South Dakota and Minnesota, has agreed to acquire fellow regional broadband fiber company NTS Communications. Vast also has reached a recapitalization agreement, led by Oak Hill Capital Partners and Pamlico Capital. The financial terms of both deals were not disclosed.

Vast Broadband, which provides triple-play services to more than 55,000 residential and business customers in South Dakota and Minnesota, has agreed to acquire fellow regional broadband fiber company NTS Communications. Vast also has reached a recapitalization agreement, led by Oak Hill Capital Partners and Pamlico Capital. The financial terms of both deals were not disclosed.

NTS, currently owned by private equity firm Tower Three Partners, operates more than 2700 route miles of fiber-optic network in Lubbock, Amarillo, Abilene, Midland, and Wichita Falls, TX, as well as Amite, Franklinton, Hammond, Independence, Pine Grove, and Ponchatoula, LA. The fiber network passes more than 60,000 homes in businesses in the two states and currently serves more than 20,00 customers. The service provider’s senior leadership team will join the Vast management roster, which includes CEO Jim Gleason, CFO Keith Davidson, and COO Larry Eby. Gleason and his team took over Vast in 2014 from NewWave Communications, another broadband services provider for which they are credited with building a customer roster of 160,000 subscribers.

"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."

Adam Hahn, a principal at Oak Hill, along with company partners Scott Baker and Benjy Diesbach, will join the Vast Broadband board as a result of the recapitalization agreement. They will be joined by Pamlico Principal Andrew Tindel as well as Pamlico partners Art Roselle and Watts Hamrick.

"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 Oak Hill’s Hahn.

"We have enjoyed a successful, long-term partnership with Jim Gleason and team dating back to our investment in NewWave Communications,” said Tindel in speaking for Pamlico. “We have a great deal of confidence in the Vast team and see tremendous opportunity for growth in the NTS markets."

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