Frontier Communications, one of Union County’s internet and telephone providers, announced an agreement late last month to sell its Northwest regional operations.
A press release from Frontier Communications stated the company intends to sell its operations and all associated assets in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana to WaveDivision Capital LLC, which will partner with Searchlight Capital Partners in the new agreement.
WDC is a private investment firm based in Kirkland, Washington, focused on the broadband industry, according to the release.
“The sale of these properties reduces Frontier’s debt and strengthens liquidity,” said Frontier President and Chief Executive Officer Dan McCarthy. “We are pleased to have a buyer with extensive experience building and operating advanced fiber-based communications assets in these regions. We will be working very closely with the new owners to ensure a smooth, successful transition for our customers and the communities we serve.”
A representative from Frontier could not be reached for comment. A representative from WDC declined an interview due to the in-process transaction.
However, a press release from WDC said the change in ownership will not affect Frontier’s customers or employees.
“This announcement does not change anything for Frontier’s customers or the employees who support them,” said Steve Weed, CEO of WaveDivision. “All services continue without disruption, all offices remain open, and all contracts and rates will continue to be honored. We expect the transaction to close by the end of the year.”
Frontier, WDC and Searchlight have agreed to honor the existing customer commitments and contracts after the transaction is closed.
As of March 31, Frontier’s Northwest regional operations served more than 350,000 residential and commercial customers and accounted for $619 million of revenue, $46 million of net income, according to the Frontier release. The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.
“We are excited to be partnering with Searchlight on this opportunity to acquire Frontier’s operations in the Northwest,” Weed said. “We have a proven track record of customer satisfaction by providing fast, reliable internet connectivity combined with great service and support.”
Under the terms of the transaction, Frontier will receive $1.352 billion in cash at closing subject to certain adjustments, including working capital, as compared to an agreed target, and certain pension and retiree medical liabilities, according to the release. Frontier has also agreed to provide transition services to the new ownership group following the closing.
Through this new company, customers in Union County may see better internet coverage.
“Our plan is to invest further in our markets, specifically by extending fiber to more homes and businesses, to bring them the high speeds they want,” Weed said. “Once the transaction closes, we will have more details to share.”
WDC and Searchlight are partial to the Northwest region and hope that shows in this new transaction.
“We grew up in this area, started and ran successful businesses here, and are excited to be able to continue to serve our community through this acquisition,” Weed said.