Mankato-based Enventis acquired by Illinois firm in $473M deal

Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MN) |

June 30--Enventis Corp., the century-old Mankato-based telephone company that grew by expanding into business services and broadband communications, is being acquired by Consolidated Communications Holdings of Illinois for $350 million in stock plus the assumption of $123 million in debt.

Enventis, formerly Hickory Tech, has 500 employees, including 455 in Minnesota. It does business in Minnesota, Iowa, North and South Dakota and Wisconsin.

Consolidated, also a century -- old phone company that branched out into business and broadband services, has about 1,500 employees and is based in Mattoon, Ill. It does business in California, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Texas and Pennsylvania.

Consolidated said in a statement that it expects combining the two firms will produce $14 million in annual savings within two years of the deal being completed, now scheduled for the fourth quarter.

Jennifer Spaude, an Enventis spokeswoman, said she couldn't comment on whether there would be layoffs in connection with the acquisition, but said there is no business territory overlap between the two firms. About 300 Enventis employees are based in Mankato, 155 are located in other parts of Minnesota and 45 are based in Fargo, N.D., and Des Moines, Iowa.

In midday trading, Enventis stock rose $1.58 per share or 11.3 percent, to $15.63. Consolidated stock dropped 24 cents, or 1 percent, to $22.05.

Steve Alexander -- 612-673-4553

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