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Integra Telecom Buys Electric Lightwave

Photonics.com
Feb 2006
PORTLAND, Ore., Feb. 7 -- Integra Telecom Inc., a Portland, Ore.-based provider of local, long-distance and Internet services for small and mid-size businesses, announced today it has signed an agreement to purchase Electric Lightwave Inc. (ELI) for $243 million in cash plus the assumption of approximately $4 million in capital lease obligations.
Electric Lightwave, a Vancouver, Wash., subsidiary of Citizens Communications Co., is a provider of Internet, data, voice and dedicated access services to enterprise businesses and carriers. In operation since 1990, the company owns and operates eight metropolitan area networks, a Tier One Internet and data network and a high-speed long haul, fiber optic network that interconnects major markets in the West.
Under the agreement, Integra will purchase ELI, including its assets and customers, from Citizens Communications. The transaction is expected to be finalized in the third quarter of 2006, pending customary approvals.
With the acquisition of ELI's network assets and customer base, Integra will become the most cash profitable and one of the largest competitive local exchange carriers in the West, the company said in a statement. The acquisition will increase the number of Integra's metropolitan service areas from 18 to 23 and will expand the number of states it serves from five to eight.
Integra said ELI's eight-market, 2200-route-mile (160,000 fiber miles) metropolitan area network, with direct fiber access into over 580 major commercial buildings, will give it a competitive advantage over local exchange carriers who "are scrambling to find network alternatives in response to recent FCC rules that increase the cost of leasing network from the Bell companies."
Integra will also own and operate ELI's 4700-mile, long haul network.
Integra said it will expand products and services currently offered by ELI to include those offered by Integra, increasing its markets in Phoenix, Ariz.; Boise, Idaho; Sacramento, Calif.; and Olympia and Spokane, Wash. Integra now serves 10 to 15 percent of small to mid-sized businesses within most of the metropolitan areas in Oregon, Wash., Utah, Minn., and North Dakota.
For more information, visit: www.integratelecom.com


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