RAPID CITY, S.D., April 21, 2005 (PRNewswire-FirstCall) — Black Hills Corporation announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell its communications subsidiary, Black Hills FiberCom and related businesses, to PrairieWave Communications, Inc.
Under the purchase and sale agreement, the Company would receive a cash payment of approximately $103 million upon closing. The transaction is subject to certain state and federal regulatory approvals, and is expected to be completed prior to June 30, 2005. The Company expects to record a one-time loss of approximately ($0.09) per share on the sale.
David R. Emery, President and CEO of Black Hills Corporation, said, “In the mid 1990s, our Company faced the possibility of the deregulation of retail electric utility services and we saw the need for advanced communication services in our region. In response, we commenced the construction of FiberCom to diversify our services in our retail service territory. With utility deregulation less likely now, and having brought broadband to Rapid City and the northern Black Hills, we have decided to divest our communications business so that we can focus solely on further developing our core energy businesses.” Emery concluded, “With the cash proceeds of the pending transaction, we would have additional resources either to reduce our debt or to redeploy capital in energy projects in the West.”
Craig A. Anderson, Chairman and CEO of PrairieWave, said, “Our organization is excited about the pending purchase of Black Hills FiberCom and the opportunity it represents for us. The Rapid City and northern Black Hills region is a very attractive market to us, and we look forward to serving our new, valued customers enthusiastically and proficiently with an elevated level of personal, local customer service.”
About Black Hills Corporation [ www.blackhillscorp.com ]
Black Hills Corporation is a diverse energy and communications company. Black Hills Energy, the wholesale energy unit, generates electricity, produces natural gas, oil and coal, and markets energy. Our retail businesses are Black Hills Power, an electric utility serving western South Dakota, northeastern Wyoming and southeastern Montana; the recently acquired Cheyenne Light, Fuel & Power, an electric and gas distribution company serving the Cheyenne, Wyoming vicinity; and Black Hills FiberCom, a broadband communications company, which offers bundled telephone, high speed Internet, and cable entertainment services, and which is under agreement to be sold.
About PrairieWave Communications
PrairieWave Communications, Inc. is a broadband communications company providing telephone, cable TV and Internet services in 36 markets in southeastern South Dakota, southwestern Minnesota and northwestern Iowa.