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EATEL to Acquire Vision Communications

Deal Includes Nearly 12K Connections


Boston-based BV Investment Partners announced September 20 that it has agreed to sell La Rose, Louisiana-based Vision Communications to Gonzales, Louisiana-based EATEL. Financial terms were not disclosed. BV acquired Vision (formerly known as SJI and parent of Lafourche Telephone and Lafourche Long Distance) from the founding Brady family in late 2007.

According to Phone Lines 2011, Vision Communications had 10,156 access lines at the end of 2010 and another 1,710 DSL connections in Larose, Grand Isle, Golden Meadow, Leeville, and Galliano, Louisiana. That’s down from more than 13k access lines at the time of the sale to BV—implying an annual line loss rate of nearly 9%, well above the 3%-5% annual declines many smaller ILECs have experienced in recent years.

At around $1,000 per connection, the deal value would be in the $11-$12m range—although the public ILECs trade for anywhere from $500 to $3,000 per connection, so that’s a rough estimate at best. Given the hefty line losses and low broadband penetration, the value may have come in lower.

EATEL, which began building its FTTH network in 2004 in the Ascension and Livingston Parishes, describes its network as “one of the only 100% fiber-to-the-home networks in the country.” Its FiberEdge service provides broadband speeds up to 60 Mbps as well as digital video and voice service. Clearly, the company sees its upside in expanding that service in to the nearby Vision market areas to improve broadband penetration.

EATEL is run by third generation family member John D. Scanlan, who was appointed president in 1994 and vice chairman earlier this year.

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