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Private Equity Firm Buys Great Plains Communications

Great Plains Communications, the largest privately-owned telecommunication provider in Nebraska, said it has been purchased by private equity firm Grain Management. Terms were not disclosed.

Great Plains, based in Blair, Neb., provides video, high-speed data and voice services to business and residential customers in more than 90 communities across the state. The family-owned company has been in business since 1910.

“We are enthusiastic about the outstanding performance Great Plains Communications has delivered for its customers, and we are thrilled to partner with the current management team to continue pursuing their vision of being the region’s leading provider of high-quality, fiber-based telecommunications services,” said Grain Management founder and CEO David Grain in a statement. “Throughout its long history, Great Plains Communications has strategically transitioned itself into a leading regional provider of fiber-based services through significant investment in its state-of-the-art network and facilities.”

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The heart of that infrastructure us a 9,500-mile regional fiber network that includes more than 300 fiber miles in the Omaha Metro area. The network extends beyond Nebraska into Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, South Dakota, and Wyoming. With additional resources from Grain Management, Great Plain said it intends to enhance its presence throughout the Midwest, extending and improving its network for both customers and their communities.

“We were committed to choosing a buyer that would support the family’s dedication to delivering high-quality services to our customers,” said Great Plains’ current owners, the Garrigan and Jensen families, who are third and fourth generation descendants of Founder E.C. Hunt.

The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2018.

“This acquisition is a positive step forward in our vision of providing the best telecommunications services to sustain and advance Nebraska,” said Great Plains CEO, Todd Foje in a statement. “Together with Grain Management, we will be able to expand our network and enhance our offerings to benefit our customers, employees and the local communities we serve. Our team looks forward to partnering with Grain Management and utilizing their deep experience in regional fiber investment.”

Alston & Bird LLP served as legal counsel to Grain Management. UBS Investment Bank served as exclusive financial advisor to Great Plains Communications in the transaction. Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP served as legal counsel to Great Plains Communications with assistance from Kutak Rock LLP and Woods & Aitken LLP