Talk America Closes Second Rival Acquisition

The upcoming change in UNE-P rules has CLECs scrambling to diversify their services so they stay afloat, a strategy demonstrated by the closure yesterday of Talk Americas second acquisition in months.

Talk America, a Virginia-based CLEC, now owns Network Telephone Corp. (NTC), a voice, data and video provider serving businesses in the southeast.

Talk America also bought the Michigan CLEC, LDMI, in mid-2005; Talk America has 300,000 customers in Michigan, mostly in Detroit, and purchased LDMI to make the most of its equipment investments, said Jeff Schwartz, spokesman for Talk America.

The same rationale was applied to a buyout of NTC.

NTC offered an opportunity for us to buy assets in the Southeast, but specifically in the Atlanta market where we have a large concentration of customers, Schwartz explained.

NTC agents will continue selling the companys products and services.

Well still go forward as normal, said Schwartz. Things could change, but currently nothings changing.

The NTC acquisition further gives Talk America assets in New Orleans and Jackson, Miss., where Talk America will decide whether to expand, Schwartz said.

Meanwhile, Talk America expects everything to run relatively the same, which means it does not anticipate any management shakeups. NTCs president and CEO Leo J. Cyr will be leaving by his own choice, said Schwartz, but Talk America plans to integrate NTC with its operations, just as it did with LDMI, he added.

As for other acquisitions that might be in the works, Schwartz would not say, only noting there are a lot of assets available a variety of opportunities.

Network Telephone Corp.
Talk America

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