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SureWest picks up WINfirst assets

Wed, 06/19/2002 - 8:00pm
Susan Rush

SureWest Communications is making a move to become the dominant communications provider in the Sacramento area. The company will plunk down $12 million for the assets of bankrupt overbuilder WINfirst.

SureWest has facilities near the WINfirst network in Northern California. It operates multiple telecommunications businesses, the largest being subsidiary Roseville Telephone Company, California's third-largest telecommunications company.

WINfirst officials were able to put the deal with SureWest together because its creditors agreed to be patient. In May, a group of creditors withdrew an application for the company to convert its Chapter 11 filing to Chapter 7. They agreed not to seek liquidation, and give the company time to find a buyer. At the time, SureWest had expressed interest in the assets.

Barring any snags, the deal is expected to close next month after Bankruptcy Court approval and the satisfaction of other closing requirements.

WINfirst filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in March after running short of cash during its efforts to build a high-speed video, voice and Internet system in Sacramento.

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