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Integra acquires ELI

The competitive carrier industry continues to consolidate. This morning, Integra Telecom announced it has acquired Electric Lightwave from Citizens Communications for $243 million in cash and the assumption of $4 million in capital lease oblications.

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Both Integra and ELI operate in the Western portion of the U.S., but Integra will acquire ELI’s 220-mile fiber optic backbone network, direct fiber access into 583 buildings and metropolitan fiber facilities in the five cities that Integra doesn’t reach today, including Boise, Idaho; Phoenix, Ariz.; Sacramento, Calif., and Spokane and Olympia, Washington. The combined companies will have annual revenues of more than $300 million and pro-forma EBITDA of $100 million, according to an official statement from Integra.

Approximately 60 percent of that revenue comes from markets in which the two companies overlap, and expect to consolidate for new network efficiencies. Post-merger, Integra will operate in 23 metro markets in the states of Arizona, California, Idaho, Minnesota, North Dakota, Oregon, Utah and Washington.

“These robust metropolitan fiber networks will substantially increase our operating strength and provide a meaningful and sustainable competitive cost advantage over other local carriers that rely exclusively on leasing network from the Bell companies,” said Dudley Slater, chief executive officer of Integra Telecom, in a prepared statement.

Integra, which is a privately held company based in Portland, Ore., was able to raise $450 million in private capital, which it is using both to fund the acquisition of ELI and to refinance its current loan obligations and provide operating cash and money for transition expenses and fees. The funding consists of two lien facilities. CIBC World Markets is lead arranger of the first lien, working with Goldman Sachs Specialty Lending Group, which also co-underwrote the second lien, working with various investors.

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© 2014 Penton Media Inc.

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