T-Mobile said it has agreed to purchase wireless assets with about 1.1 million customers from Shenandoah Telecommunications, part of an earlier agreement the CLEC had with Sprint Communications, but the parties still have to agree on price.
ShenTel has had an affiliate agreement with Sprint for more than two decades, and has about 1.1 million wireless customers in parts of West Virginia, Maryland, Kentucky, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Sprint was purchased by T-Mobile in April for $26 billion.
When T-Mobile exercised its right to acquire the Shentel wireless properties, it triggered an appraisal process to determine the business value to be paid by T-Mobile. Shentel said in a press release the process could take “at least several months.”
Shentel’s wireless business generates about $400 million in annual revenue and has around 400 employees. According to Shentel, it had been in talks with T-Mobile about the framework of the appraisal process prior to the telecom company exercising its option, but the parties were unable to agree on terms.
“Over the last 21 years, the dedicated employees of our wireless business have charted an enormously successful path in the wireless industry,” said Shentel CEO Christopher E. French said in a press release. “We have built the best performing wireless network, deployed an unmatched footprint of stores and kiosks and provided industry leading customer service to over 1 million mostly rural subscribers in our region. Without Shentel, many of our wireless customers would not have otherwise had a reliable provider they could count on for critical connectivity to keep in touch with loved ones or to support their livelihood.”
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Mike Farrell is senior content producer, finance for Multichannel News/B+C, covering finance, operations and M&A at cable operators and networks across the industry. He joined Multichannel News in September 1998 and has written about major deals and top players in the business ever since. He also writes the On The Money blog, offering deeper dives into a wide variety of topics including, retransmission consent, regional sports networks,and streaming video. In 2015 he won the Jesse H. Neal Award for Best Profile, an in-depth look at the Syfy Network’s Sharknado franchise and its impact on the industry.
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