Fiber provider Shenandoah Telecommunications Company (Shentel) has agreed to acquire all of the equity interests of Horizon Acquisition Parent LLC, which is the parent company of Horizon Telcom. The definitive agreement is for $385 million consisting of $305 million in cash and $80 million of Shentel common stock.
Shentel, founded in 1902, operates in Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Kentucky. Acquiring Horizon will expand that footprint to include parts of Ohio and surrounding states.
Horizon, founded in 1895, also has a rich history. It serves national wireless providers, carriers, enterprises, the government and healthcare sectors. About 64% of its revenues are from commercial customers. It has about 9,000 on-net locations.
Horizon passes more than 14,000 homes and business with fiber in its ILEC market and 18,000 homes in greenfield markets that are adjacent to its commercial markets. It has a unique 7,200 route-mile fiber network.
The company has been awarded more than $57 million in grants from the Ohio Broadband Authority and NTIA for projects that are expected to be completed by 2028.
Horizon’s recent strategy is to invest in FTTH in what Shentel called “tier 3 and tier 4” markets.
Shentel also has been investing substantially in fiber broadband. For instance, in August, it said that it had upgraded more than 2,000 homes and businesses in several neighborhoods in Shippensburg, Pa., to fiber. Last December, the company said it would upgrade its network in Radford, Va. to FTTH. Shentel said that it would fully fund the multi-million-dollar project.
“The acquisition of Horizon is a transformative transaction that we believe will allow us to accelerate our Fiber First strategy by doubling the size of our commercial fiber business and creating a new beachhead for our Glo Fiber business. We now expect to pass 150,000 additional homes with fiber in greenfield markets, targeting 600,000 total passings by the end of 2026,” Shentel’s President and CEO Christopher E. French said in a press release.
“We are excited to combine Horizon’s robust fiber network and commercial fiber business with our 9,000 route-mile, multi-state fiber network and accelerate our Glo Fiber expansion.”