Consolidated Communications' pending SureWest deal heads to California PUC for review

Consolidated Communications' (Nasdaq: CNSL) proposed acquisition of SureWest Communications (Nasdaq: SURW) is now heading to the California Public Utility Commission (CPUC) for review next week on June 7.

On June 12, shareholder votes and counting for both SureWest and Consolidated shareholders will take place. If the service provider is able to gain CPUC and shareholder approvals, the deal could be completed in early July.

Bob Currey, President and CEO of Consolidated, said in a statement that the company believes it will "achieve $30 million to $35 million in annualized operating and capital expense synergies by the end of the second year after close."

When it completes its purchase of SureWest, Consolidated will instantly gain a foothold in the Sacramento, Calif. and Kansas City, Mo. markets. Besides expanding its market footprint, the service provider will be able to increase its IPTV, business and wholesale service footprint.

As of the end of Q1 2012, SureWest had upgraded 1,000 of its existing copper-fed homes with IPTV service in addition to allocating capital to build additional 2,000 Fiber to the Home (FTTH) marketable homes.

In tandem with its FTTH rollout, SureWest continued to expand its Fiber to the Tower footprint was already billing for 366 wireless backhaul connections at annualized revenues of $4.4 million.

Growing through acquisitions has been an ongoing theme for Consolidated. In addition to SureWest, the service provider previously purchased Houston, Texas-based TXU Communications in 2004 and then in 2007 it bought North Pittsburgh Telephone Co. in 2007.

For more:
- see the release
- Sacramento Business Journal has this article

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