Telephone and Data Systems, Inc, parent company to TDS Telecom, announced Thursday an agreement to acquire substantially all of the assets of a group of companies operating as BendBroadband, headquartered in Bend for a purchase price of $261 million.
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.
While CEO Amy Tykeson met with company employees Thursdasy, TDS spokeswoman DeAnne Boegli confirmed to NewsChannel 21 that the operation "will continue to operate as BendBroadband."
"Nothing will change" for BendBroadband customers, Boegli assured.
Here's the rest of the news release issued Thursday afternoon:
BendBroadband is a full-service communications company, offering an extensive range of broadband, fiber 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 III data center providing colocation and managed services, and Zolo Media, a cable advertising and broadcast business.
As of Dec. 31, 2013, 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's entire network is equipped to deliver high-speed, high-capacity broadband and video services.
"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."
RBC Capital Markets served as the exclusive M&A advisor to BendBroadband in connection with this transaction. Stoel Rives LLP, Davis Wright Tremaine LLP and Cinnamon Mueller LLC served as legal counsel to BendBroadband. Sidley Austin LLP served as legal counsel to TDS.
About Telephone and Data Systems
Telephone and Data Systems, Inc. (TDS), a Fortune 500 company, provides wireless; 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. Founded in 1969 and headquartered in Chicago, TDS employed 10,500 people as of Dec. 31, 2013. Visit teldta.com for comprehensive financial information, including earnings releases, quarterly and annual filings, shareholder information and more.
About TDS Telecom
TDS Telecom, the seventh largest local exchange telephone company in the U.S., is a wholly owned subsidiary of Telephone and Data Systems, Inc. TDS Telecom provides 1.1 million connections to high-speed Internet, phone, and TV entertainment services to customers in more than a hundred rural, suburban, and metropolitan communities. TDS Telecom offers businesses the latest communications solutions, including: VoIP (managedIP Hosted) phone service, dedicated high-speed Internet and hosted-managed services. TDS Telecom, headquartered in Madison, Wis., operates OneNeck IT Solutions LLC and TDS Baja Broadband LLC. Combined, the company employs 3,100 people. Visit tdstelecom.com or tdsbusiness.com for more information.
BendBroadband is a full-service communications company, offering an extensive range of broadband, fiber connectivity, cable television and telephone services for commercial and residential customers in Central Oregon. BendBroadband also includes BendBroadband Vault, a Tier III data center providing colocation and managed services, and Zolo Media, a cable advertising and broadcast operation. Visit bendbroadband.com for more information.