Consolidated Communications Buying FairPoint For $1.5 Billion in Broadband Power Play

**Editor’s Note: Please click here for a recap of the biggest channel-impacting mergers in September-October 2016.**

Consolidated Communications Holdings is buying FairPoint Communications for $1.5 billion in an effort to double its strength as a broadband provider.

The boards of directors from both companies have approved the deal, which gives Consolidated access to North Carolina-based FairPoint’s East Coast footprint. Consolidated is based in Illinois.

“This transaction combines two companies with extensive fiber networks and complementary strategies focusing on being the leading business and broadband solutions provider,” Consolidated Communications CEO Bob Udell said. “This merger positions Consolidated to leverage its extensive product and services portfolio and consultative sales approach across 24 states bringing advanced solutions and a better experience to customers.”{ad}

Udell will serve as president and CEO of the merged company, which will maintain Consolidated Communications’ name. FairPoint CEO Paul Sunu said the transaction will benefit his shareholders due to the increased scale of the company and resulting annual “synergies” of approximately $55 million. The scale amounts to a network that touches 24 states.

“Together, FairPoint and Consolidated Communications create a highly competitive business and broadband company with a superior network to deliver a best-in-class experience to carrier, commercial and consumer customers,” he said.

A FairPoint spokesperson said partners will not experience a significant impact from the acquisition.

“There is no change to services, rates, or contracts. Service agreements will not be affected as a result of this announcement,” a FairPoint spokesperson told Channel Partners Monday evening. “The integration planning process has just begun, and it is important to remember that the regulatory approval process is likely to take up to six months.  Until the transaction closes, we will operate business as usual.”

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