Just when you thought the telecom M&A scene was winding down for the year, Minnesota-based HickoryTech (NASDAQ:HTCO, news, filings) is getting one in for the holidays. HickoryTech is spending $28M in cash to acquire North Dakota's IdeaOne Telecom, which operates a metro fiber network in Fargo. HickoryTech's Enventis subsidiary expanded westward into Fargo last year, so adding depth there is a natural extension of the company's geographical coverage.
The purchase adds 225 route miles to HickoryTech's network assets, as well as 3,600 business and residential customers, and revenues that amounted to $11.1M in 2010. But the most interesting number in the press release is the lit building count of 650 which is quite a large number for a city of less than 100,000 people. It's also more than twice as many on-net buildings as Enventis has, primarily in the Minneapolis metro area of course.
HickoryTech expects to close the deal in the first quarter, and will finance the purchase with existing cash and available debt from its current credit facility. I don't yet have a fiber map link for IdeaOne, though I'd certainly like to see one.
For North Dakota, this has been an active couple of months on the fiber front, as there aren't that many alternative operators up there and 360Networks' route through the region just changed hands last week too.
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