PrairieWave Buys Black Hills FiberCom

PrairieWave Communications Inc. will acquire Black Hills Corp.’s Black Hills FiberCom communications subsidiary and related businesses under terms of a deal announced Wednesday.

The deal was valued at some $103 million. It is subject to certain state and federal regulatory approvals, and the companies expect it to be completed prior to June 30.

“With utility deregulation less likely now, and having brought broadband to Rapid City and the northern Black Hills, we have decided to divest our communications business so that we can focus solely on further developing our core energy businesses,” Black Hills CEO David R. Emery said in a prepared statement.

“We are extremely proud of FiberCom’s state-of-the-art system and the committed employees who built and operate it, and who will continue to operate it following this transaction,” he added.

“The Rapid City and northern Black Hills region is a very attractive market to us, and we look forward to serving our new, valued customers enthusiastically and proficiently with an elevated level of personal, local customer service,” PrairieWave chairman and CEO Craig A. Anderson said in a prepared statement. “This is a combination of two very strong South Dakota-based companies that are leaders in their industry.”

PrairieWave provides telephone, cable and Internet services in 36 markets in southeastern South Dakota, southwestern Minnesota and northwestern Iowa.