04 Jan ATN International to buy Alaska Communications for $332M | Light Reading
BEVERLY, Massachusetts ATN International announced today that it has agreed to acquire Alaska Communications Systems Group in an all cash transaction valued at approximately $332.0 million, including outstanding net debt. ATN and financial partner Freedom 3 Capital created a newly formed entity that has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire all the outstanding shares of Alaska Communications common stock for $3.40 per share in cash. ATN will operate and consolidate the new entity and Alaska Communications through its majority ownership stake.
Michael Prior, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of ATN, stated, “This investment and merger allows us to enter a new market with many similar characteristics to our existing operations in the U.S. and elsewhere. Further, it aligns with our strategy to leverage the broad capabilities of our operating platform to enhance and augment leading providers of facilities-based communications services in distinctive markets. ATN has a long history of enabling its subsidiaries to gain and maintain strong market positions by investing in high quality infrastructure, the latest technologies and creative solutions to give customers a superior experience. We recognize the same determination and customer-centric approach in the Alaska Communications team. Our industry is rapidly changing, and communications requirements have never been more essential and critical than they are today. We look forward to combining our resources and experience with Alaska Communications’ market knowledge and reputation for superior service to provide industry-leading communications products and services to customers in Alaska and beyond.”
Bill Bishop, President and Chief Executive Officer of Alaska Communications, stated, “This transaction represents an exciting opportunity to augment our market position, as well as expand our capabilities to better serve our customers. ATN has extensive telecommunications expertise, a strong track record of successfully investing in and operating capital-intensive businesses and has a strong financial position highlighted by its net cash position. These are critical attributes that will support our strategy to deliver superior customer service utilizing our fiber-based network solutions. We firmly believe this transaction will allow us to enhance our expanded fiber network services and drive long-term value for our employees and customers in Alaska.”
Brian Block of F3C stated, “We are excited to partner with ATN to support the long-term growth of Alaska Communications. We believe ATN’s leadership and operational support in partnership with the Alaska Communications management team accelerates growth for the company. Freedom 3 has known the business and management team since 2002.” Additionally, Aaron Blazar of F3C stated, “The communications infrastructure space is a rapidly growing sector where Freedom 3 has deep expertise. We look forward to leveraging that expertise in support of Alaska Communications.”
The transaction is subject to the approval of Alaska Communications’ stockholders, regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions. The transaction has fully committed debt and equity financing and is not subject to any condition with regard to financing. Alaska Communications’ Board of Directors has unanimously approved the ATN Merger Agreement and recommends that Alaska Communications’ stockholders approve the proposed merger and merger agreement. Alaska Communications expects to hold a Special Meeting of Stockholders to consider and vote on the proposed merger and merger agreement as soon as practicable after the mailing of the proxy statement to its stockholders. No approval of ATN stockholders is required for the Transaction. The transaction will result in Alaska Communications becoming a privately held company and is expected to close in the second half of 2021.
TAR Holdings, LLC, which owns approximately 8.8% of the outstanding shares of Alaska Communications common stock, has entered into a voting agreement with the newly formed entity, among other things, to vote in favor of the merger.
The Bank Street Group LLC is acting as exclusive financial advisor and Morrison & Foerster LLP is acting as legal advisor to ATN and F3C in connection with the transaction.
B. Riley Securities, Inc. is serving as financial advisor and Sidley Austin LLP is serving as legal advisor to Alaska Communications in connection with the transaction.