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ShenTel Buys Rapid Subs

Shenandoah Telecommunications Co. has agreed to purchase cable systems in Virginia and West Virginia from Rapid Communications for about $16.1 million.

The deal includes about 17,650 subscribers in 50 franchise areas clustered around Covington, Va.; Summersville, W.Va.; and Weston, W. Va.

Denver-based cable investment banker RBC Daniels advised ShenTel on the deal. New York-based cable investment banker Waller Capital Corp. advised Rapid Communications.

The deal is expected to close before the end of the year.

According to its 10-Q quarterly report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Aug. 6, ShenTel paid $16.1 million for the Rapid systems, or about $900 per subscriber. ShenTel said it planned to fund the purchase price and upgrades to the systems through a line of credit, terms of which have not been finalized. 

According to a press release, ShenTel plans a major consolidation and upgrade of the cable systems over the next few years, enabling the company to offer its customers in smaller communities expanded triple play offerings like HDTV, video on demand, high-speed Internet service and telephony.

ShenTel, based in Edinburg, Va., provides local and long distance telephone, Internet and data services, cable television, wireless voice and data services, alarm monitoring, and telecommunications equipment to customers in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern United States.

The deal more than doubles ShenTel’s cable television customer base. According to its 10-Q report, the company had about 8,193 cable subscribers as of June 30.