WASHINGTON- Grain Management, LLC (Grain), a leading private equity firm focused on investments in the communications sector, announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Great Plains Communications – the largest privately-owned telecommunications provider in Nebraska.
“We are enthusiastic about the outstanding performance Great Plains Communications has delivered for its customers, and we are thrilled to partner with the current management team to continue pursuing their vision of being the region’s leading provider of high-quality, fiber-based telecommunications services,” said David Grain, Founder & CEO of Grain Management.
Grain will acquire Great Plains Communications from its current owners, whose families have led the company’s growth since 1910, when it began as a local telephone company. Throughout its long history, Great Plains Communications has strategically transitioned itself into a leading regional provider of fiber-based services through significant investment in its state-of-the-art network and facilities. The company offers residential services, such as digital phone, high-definition cable television, and broadband Internet through DSL, cable modem, satellite or fiber to more than 90 communities across the state. It also provides business services ranging from traditional voice and data products to installation and support of large business networks with scalable Ethernet solutions.
“We were committed to choosing a buyer that would support the family’s dedication to delivering high-quality services to our customers,” said current owners, the Garrigan and Jensen families, who are third and fourth generation descendants of Founder E.C. Hunt. “Great Plains Communications’ capable employees, led by CEO Todd Foje and the management team, will continue to carry on the mission of the family and Grain Management.”
“This acquisition is a positive step forward in our vision of providing the best telecommunications services to sustain and advance Nebraska,” said Great Plains Communications CEO, Todd Foje. “Together with Grain Management, we will be able to expand our network and enhance our offerings to benefit our customers, employees and the local communities we serve. Our team looks forward to partnering with Grain Management and utilizing their deep experience in regional fiber investment.”
Upon completion of the acquisition, Great Plains Communications will operate over 9,500 route miles of high-quality network architecture. With additional resources from Grain Management, the company intends to enhance its presence throughout the Midwest, extending and improving its network for both customers and their communities.
TD Bank served as financial advisor to Grain Management. Alston & Bird LLP served as legal counsel to Grain Management.
UBS Investment Bank served as exclusive financial advisor to Great Plains Communications in the transaction. Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP served as legal counsel to Great Plains Communications with assistance from Kutak Rock LLP and Woods & Aitken LLP.
The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2018, following the satisfaction of customary regulatory approvals. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.