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TDS forges deal to buy Baja Broadband

Wed, 02/27/2013 - 1:48pm

The small cable operator market continues its wave of consolidation. Yesterday TDS Telecom announced a deal to buy all of the assets of Baja Broadband.

Baja Broadband, which is headquartered in Alamogordo, New Mexico, offers triple play services to residential and business customers in parts of Colorado, New Mexico, Texas and Utah.

TDS was attracted to Baja’s network infrastructure, which passes approximately 212,000 homes, with approximately 74,000 video subscribers, 56,000 high-speed broadband subscribers and 15,000 digital voice subscribers. Roughly 96 percent of Baja's network is equipped to deliver high-speed, high-capacity broadband and video services.

M/C Partners and Columbia Capital currently own Baja. The company was formed in 2006 out of former Charter Communications systems.

Baja cranked out annual revenues of $82.4 million last year, and currently has approximately 285 employees. The transaction is slated to close in the third quarter of this year, pending regulatory approvals.

"Baja Broadband is a natural extension of our existing businesses, with significant potential to deliver increased returns over time," said David A. Wittwer, president and CEO, TDS Telecom. "Our strategy is to leverage our expertise and existing platform and technologies to accelerate growth in underserved, high-potential markets. We plan to build on Baja's solid customer base and upgraded network to increase penetration and revenues with new services and products and outstanding customer experiences. And our experience with commercial customers will enable us to target new services and products to this fast-growing sector in Baja's service areas."

"Baja's strong network capabilities will enable us to deliver highly competitive data services, while reducing the need for future capital investment.”

TDS provides wireless, broadband, TV and voice, and hosted and managed services to approximately 7 million customers in 36 states through its business units, U.S. Cellular, TDS Telecom and TDS Hosted & Managed Services.

RBC Capital Markets served as the exclusive merger and acquisition advisor to Baja in connection with the deal while Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP served as legal counsel to Baja. Waller Capital also served as financial adviser to M/C Partners and Columbia Capital on the deal.

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