Rural telco Citizens fails to excite interest from buyers

24 Jun 2004

Connecticut-based rural telecoms service provider Citizens Communications failed to attract any bids from prospective buyers by the deadline for first and final offers yesterday, despite widespread predictions that two private equity groups were lining up to offer USD8 billion, including debt, for the company. According to sources close to the deal, two groups – one comprising Blackstone, Thomas H Lee and Bain Capital and the other of Carlyle, Providence Equity Partners, Madison Dearborn and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts – had formed to submit bids, but neither did. It is now unclear whether any other bidders, including rival operator CenturyTel, did table a bid by the 5pm deadline Wednesday. Citizens Communications operates 2.4 million access lines in 23 states.