The USD1.5 billion all-stock merger between US fixed line operators Consolidated Communications and FairPoint Communications is one step closer after shareholders of the former voted to approve the issuance of Consolidated common stock to the latter, pursuant to the December 2016 merger agreement. Approximately 98% of Consolidated Communications shareholders who voted on the proposal cast their vote in favour of the merger (representing 71% of the company’s outstanding stock at that date). FairPoint also held a special meeting where approximately 96% of participating FairPoint shareholders voted in favour of the merger (representing 74% of FairPoint’s outstanding shares).
Under the terms of the agreement, FairPoint shareholders will receive a fixed exchange ratio of 0.7300 shares of Consolidated Communications common stock for each share of FairPoint common stock. After closing, Consolidated’s shareholders will own approximately 71.3% of the pro forma combined company and FairPoint’s shareholders will own the remaining 28.7%. Consolidated and FairPoint are in the process of securing the necessary state and federal regulatory approvals to complete the merger and expect the transaction to close by mid-2017.
Bob Udell, president and CEO at Consolidated Communications, commented: ‘Today our shareholders voted overwhelmingly in favour of the merger bringing together two companies to create one strong, leading, business and broadband provider serving 24 states. We are committed to driving long-term growth and creating value for our stakeholders. This merger positions Consolidated to leverage its extensive product and services portfolio across an expanded network bringing operational and service benefits to customers.’