Friday, February 1, 2013

Fairpoint Communications sells Idaho properties to Missoula group

FairPoint Communications, Inc. announced Thursday that it has completed the sale of the capital stock of its Idaho-based operations to Blackfoot Telecommunications Group of Missoula, Mont., for approximately $30 million in gross cash proceeds.

FairPoint's Idaho properties, which included Fremont Telecom and Fretel Communications, served more than 5,500 residential and business customers in eastern Idaho. With the sale, Blackfoot stands to expand its base by 25 percent and expand its fiber route miles by 25 percent, bringing its total fiber backbone route miles to 8,500. FairPoint also had a minority interest in Syringa Networks, a fiber network owned by several rural Idaho telcos, which is part of the sale to Blackfoot.

Blackfoot Telecommunications Group traces its origins to the founding of the Blackfoot Telephone Cooperative in 1954 and through its various organizations delivers telecommunications services to more than 20,000 customers in western Montana and Idaho. As a result of the sale, 11 FairPoint employees based in Idaho will be joining the Blackfoot organization.