Marked Tree, Ark. (October 31, 2019) – Grain Management (“Grain”), a leading, Washington, D.C.-based investor in the global communications industry, together with E. Ritter and Company, announced today that it had completed its acquisition of a majority stake in Ritter Communications. A leader among local independent communications providers in Tennessee and Arkansas, Ritter Communications offers internet, phone, video services and cloud solutions to business, residential and wholesale customers.
Alan Morse, Ritter Communications CEO, said, “Grain Management’s vision for the future of the company, coupled with their industry expertise make this an exciting partnership. Together, we are focused on growth, hard work and maintaining best-in-class customer service and community support. Finding the right partner whose culture is congruent to those values was central to our search and we are excited to be working together.”
Grain invested in Ritter Communications with its current owner, E. Ritter and Company, whose family owners have led the business for five generations since it began providing local telephone service in 1906. Over the last 10 years, Ritter Communications has invested over $100 million in local expansion and today boasts one of the largest, high-capacity fiber optic networks in the region.
“We are excited about the possibilities for the future that this partnership will allow. We’re in a unique position because of our state-of-the-art fiber technology,” said Ronda Ritter Ray, lead family director and fourth-generation Ritter family shareholder. “The communities we serve are near and dear to our hearts, and our family is looking forward to the next chapter of Ritter Communications growth.”
Recent Ritter Communications expansion projects include a $7 million broadband fiber infrastructure project in Hot Springs, Arkansas, the construction of its state-of-the-art Data Technology Center on its campus in Jonesboro, Arkansas, and a multi-million dollar broadband fiber network expansion in Harrison, Arkansas.
Cowen and Company, LLC served as exclusive financial adviser to E. Ritter and Company and Ritter Communications in the transaction. Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP served as legal counsel. TD Securities served as financial advisor to Grain Management in the transaction. Alston & Bird LLP served as Grain Management legal counsel. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.