Choice One, CTC, Conversent Wrap Up Group Merger

Choice One Communications, CTC Communications and Conversent Communications this week completed their group merger in a move that will create the largest privately held CLEC in the United States.

The new company will go by the name One Communications as of July 24, and will serve businesses in 16 states within the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and upper Midwest regions.

Choice One and CTC in February decided to merge, then, in March Choice One and CTC said they would buy Conversent Communications, including FiberNet, Conversents communications services provider in West Virginia.

Financing for the deal included a $75 million additional equity investment by Columbia Ventures Corp., CTC Communications sole shareholder; Choice One shareholders; and a $590 million credit facility arranged by Goldman Sachs Credit Partners LP.

The credit facility includes $30 million in revolving credit, a $435 million first lien term loan and a $125 million second lien term loan. Proceeds from the debt and equity offerings allowed the company to refinance existing debt, purchase all of Conversents outstanding shares, fund transaction and merger integration costs, and provide additional working capital.

This transaction transforms three telecommunications companies that were strong in their own right into a single broadband IP-based telecommunications powerhouse, said Thomas J. Casey, CEO of One Communications, in a news release. Businesses throughout our target markets will benefit from a new competitor that is large enough to make substantial investments in enhanced services, while being nimble and focused enough to serve every customer with exceptional support provided by accessible and friendly experts.

The One Communications network spans from Maine to West Virginia and the eastern seaboard to Wisconsin.

The Choice One Board was advised by The Blackstone Group L.P.s Corporate Advisory Services team, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP and Mintz Levin.

Cohn Ferris Glovsky & Popeo P.C. The CTC Board was advised by Columbia Ventures Corp. and Kelley Drye & Warren LLP. The Conversent Board was advised by Miller Buckfire and Co. LLC and Edwards, Angell Palmer and Dodge LLP.

One Communications


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