TDS Telecom to transfer ownership of North Carolina markets to Wilkes Communications, Inc.
TDS Telecom entered into a Stock Purchase Agreement with Wilkes Communications, Inc. headquartered in Wilkesboro, N.C. to transfer ownership of its three Incumbent Local Exchange Companies (ILEC) in North Carolina. The purchase includes all operations in: Barnardsville, Saluda, and Fair Bluff, N.C. Combined the companies represent approximately 3,000 access lines. The agreement was signed on December 30, 2014 and is expected to close within 90 days.
Wilkes Communications, Inc. is a subsidiary of Wilkes Telephone Membership Cooperative. It was started in 1951 as a local cooperative to serve rural Wilkes County. Most recently RiverStreet Networks, a trade name of Wilkes Communications, Inc., was developed to offer technologies to areas outside of traditional Wilkes ILEC market areas. Wilkes Communications currently serves residential and commercial subscribers in parts of seven counties in western North Carolina with offerings, including: high speed Internet, digital television, voice, security, VoIP and hosted and traditional business systems.
“Wilkes Communications has grown tremendously over the past five years in both our core and non-core footprints. We have completed our Fiber-to-the-Home overbuild making 1Gig Internet speeds available to all current subscribers. We are excited to bring our mission and business philosophy to enhance the networks and communications services in these communities under our RiverStreet Networks initiative,” said Eric Cramer, CEO of Wilkes Communications.
Three local TDS Telecom Field Service Technicians who have been supporting the communities will also transfer to Wilkes Communications, Inc. as part of the agreement.
“Given Wilkes’ strong reputation and commitment to offering the latest in advanced technologies, we believe both our customers and employees will be in good hands,” said Jim Butman, Group President of Marketing Sales and Customer Service at TDS Telecom.
Charlesmead Advisors, LLC served as exclusive financial advisor to TDS Telecom in this transaction.
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