Wilkesboro-based RiverStreet Management Services LLC (doing business as Riversteet Networks), a subsidiary of Wilkes Communications, has entered into an agreement to buy Peoples Mutual Telephone Co. and Peoples Mutual Long Distance Co. from Consolidated Communications Holdings Inc., spokesmen for the companies announced Monday.
The all-cash transaction is valued at about $21 million and is subject to certain contractual adjustments, stated a Consolidated press release. The closing is subject to usual regulatory approvals and is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2018.
Peoples Mutual, based in Gretna, Va., is a local exchange carrier providing telecommunications services to residents and businesses in the south-central Virginia towns of Gretna, Hurt and Renan in Pittsylvania County and Sandy Level in adjoining Henry County. Both counties adjoin North Carolina.
“We are very excited to enter into this agreement and expand our service area into Virginia, strengthening our position as a technology partner in the region,” said Eric Cramer, president and chief executive officer of Wilkes Communications and RiverStreet. “We look forward to serving the customers of Virginia and expect a seamless transition upon closing.”
The divestiture allows Consolidated Communications, based in Mattoon, Ill., to continue focusing on its core regions and its integration of FairPoint Communications, stated the press release.
The Virginia operations being sold contributed about $6.5 million of revenue in fiscal 2016.
Wilkes Communications was established in 1951 as a local cooperative serving rural Wilkes County. RiverStreet Networks was developed to offer the latest in technologies to areas outside of the traditional cooperative market.
Wilkes Communications and RiverStreet Networks now serve residential and commercial subscribers in parts of 26 counties including Alexander in North Carolina with offerings that include high speed Internet, digital television, voice, security, VoIP and business systems.