TDS Wraps Up Baja Broadband Buy

TDS Telecom closed its $267.5 million purchase of Baja Broadband on Thursday, marking the largest acquisition in TDS’s history.

TDS announced the deal in late February. As of June 30, Alamogordo, N.M.-based Baja Broadband served systems passing more than 214,000 homes in parts of Colorado, New Mexico, Texas and Utah, and had a total of 71,000 video subs, 59,000 high-speed Internet customers, and 16,000 digital voice customers. In 2012, Baja posted annual revenues of $85.6 million. It has 278 employees.

Baja was formed in 2006 after private equity groups M/C Partners and Columbia Capital teamed up to purchase non-core systems from Charter Communications in New Mexico, Utah and Colorado. The company added to those assets in 2011 when it purchased the southwestern assets of US Cable.

TDS said it will manage the operations of Baja Broadband. RBC Capital Markets was the exclusive M&A advisor to Baja. Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP served as Baja’s legal counsel.

TDS, based in Madison, Wis., delivers a mix of VoIP, high-speed Internet and hosted-managed services to nearly 1 million customers.

“Spirits are high and we are feeling confident the transition will be successful,” Mark Barber, vice president of cable operations for TDS Telecom. “The transition team has been working around the clock to prepare both organizations for the change. Our goal is to make no impact on customer operations and to support Baja employees, as well as TDS employees, as they work together to meet the needs of customers today and to expand services in the future.”

“This is our largest acquisition to date and we are well positioned to drive growth going forward. I believe Baja Broadband has significant potential to deliver increased returns over time,” said TDS Telecom president and CEO David A. Wittwer, in a statement.  “Our strategy is to leverage our expertise and technologies to accelerate growth in underserved, high-potential markets.”