Partnership, Merger & Acquisition

The latest rural broadband M&A deal involves Bedford, NH-based USConnect Holdings and West Point, GA-based ITC Broadband Holdings. USConnect has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by ITC, the companies announced today.

USConnect Holdings owns and operates 7 rural broadband providers and a small regional IT services firm. The holding company is also owned by several rural broadband providers, including Golden West of South Dakota, HTC of South Carolina, and DRN of North Dakota, among others. The company was formed in 2013.

Rural Broadband M&A

ITC Broadband Holdings is a subsidiary of ITC Holdings, which got its start in 1896 as ITC Telephone Company. It’s since diversified and has interests in a number of industries including rural broadband.

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“We are thrilled to join ITC,” said Deborah Rand, CEO of USConnect in a prepared statement. “Adding ITC’s vast expertise and capital will enhance our ability to extend out our fiber presence in our own communities and to additional underserved areas.”

The USConnect management team will continue in their role after the acquisition according to a press release. Both companies cite expansion as an outcome of the latest rural broadband M&A deal. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

A USConnect spokesperson confirmed with Telecompetitor that both expansion through overbuilding and through additional acquisition are both on the table post-acquisition.

USConnect Companies
USConnect Companies (Source: USConnect)

“We are truly excited to be partnering with the entire USConnect team as we bring the 125 years of telecom operating experience we have at ITC and our deep resources to aggressively grow the USConnect business going forward” said Jerry Elliott, the CEO of ITC Broadband Holdings in a prepared statement. “This transaction with USConnect is just the beginning of the ambitious growth plans we have at ITC to bring gigabit fiber-driven true high-speed internet to unserved and underserved Americans.”

This rural broadband M&A deal highlights the ongoing nature of smaller deals within the industry, where rural providers are joining forces with each other to build scale and private investors are looking for fiber-rich networks to add to their portfolio.

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