MATTOON — Consolidated Communications still expects to complete its acquisition of SureWest Communications in the third quarter of this year, Consolidated CEO Robert Currey said.
The acquisition would extend Mattoon-based Consolidated, which has subscriber lines in Illinois, Texas and Pennsylvania, into the states of California, Kansas and Missouri.
In a conference call earlier this month, Currey said the acquisition has received federal approval and is expected to receive state approval in California in early June.
Shareholder votes for both companies are scheduled June 12, "and we are expecting to close sometime early in the third quarter," Currey told analysts during the call, a transcript of which was recently filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Currey said the combination will give Consolidated "a more diversified and growing revenue base, an improved balance sheet and a more competitive product-and-service portfolio."
The proposed acquisition, announced Feb. 6, is valued at about $341 million. SureWest, based in Roseville, Calif., serves customers in the Sacramento, Calif., area and the Kansas City area in both Missouri and Kansas.
Consolidated, with 940 employees and annual revenues of $375 million, is a little larger than SureWest, with about 800 employees and annual revenues of $248 million.
Consolidated said the acquisition would merge Consolidated's "strong and stable cash-flow business" with SureWest's "growth-oriented" strategy.
More than 70 percent of the combined company's revenues would come from business and broadband services, according to a Consolidated presentation.
Consolidated is no stranger to acquisition, having absorbed Texas-based TXU Communications in 2004 and Pennsylvania-based North Pittsburgh Systems in 2007.
At Consolidated's annual meeting June 12, shareholders will be asked to elect the company's chairman of the board, 77-year-old Richard Lumpkin, to a three-year term on the board.
In a proxy statement, the company stated that the board intends to name an independent director to succeed Jack W. Blumenstein, who died Feb. 29.
With his death, Consolidated no longer had three independent directors on its board.
Consolidated's stock trades on the Nasdaq exchange, and Nasdaq gave Consolidated until Aug. 28 to name another independent director or be de-listed.
Consolidated indicated in its proxy statement that the seat may be filled by a director designated by SureWest.