Business

Shareholders of Charlotte-based FairPoint approve $1.5 billion deal

Peter Adams, a telephone line splicer for FairPoint Communications works from a bucket, Thursday, Oct. 22, 2009, in Freeport, Maine. FairPoint executives and union leaders are meeting behind closed doors in Boston on Thursday to discuss concessions aimed at averting a bankruptcy filing.
Peter Adams, a telephone line splicer for FairPoint Communications works from a bucket, Thursday, Oct. 22, 2009, in Freeport, Maine. FairPoint executives and union leaders are meeting behind closed doors in Boston on Thursday to discuss concessions aimed at averting a bankruptcy filing. AP

Charlotte-based telecommunications company Consolidated Communications and FairPoint Communications say their shareholders have approved a proposed merger.

Consolidated announced in December it was buying FairPoint for $1.5 billion, assuming its debt and offering dividends to stockholders.

FairPoint employs 2,600 across the U.S., including about 40 in Charlotte, the company has said.

Shareholder voting took place Tuesday at Consolidated in Illinois and at FairPoint in Charlotte.

FairPoint is a telephone and internet provider that serves homes, businesses and public institutions.

The company provides phone and Internet service in 17 states, and has a fiber-based Ethernet network with about 18,000 miles of fiber wires in northern New England. This past summer, FairPoint’s largest investor, New York-based Maglan Capital, said the company needed to consider selling itself because it had failed to maximize shareholder value.

Consolidated provides business and broadband communications in 11 states and is based in Mattoon, Illinois.

Public utilities commissions in the northern New England states will hold hearings in April and May on the merger. The Observer contributed.

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