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HickoryTech to Buy ND Network Provider for $28M

The acquisition will expand Mankato-based HickoryTech's fiber-network footprint in the Fargo area.

Mankato-based telecommunications service provider HickoryTech Corporation on Tuesday announced plans to buy IdeaOne Telecom Group, LLC, a fiber network provider based in Fargo, North Dakota.

HickoryTech said that it will pay $28 million in cash for the 40-employee company and expects to complete the transaction in the first quarter of 2012.

IdeaOne is a data networking, Internet, phone, and hosting services company that operates a 225-mile fiber network in the Fargo area. The company has approximately 1,900 business customers and 1,700 residential customers-and its 2010 revenues totaled $11.1 million.

HickoryTech, meanwhile, has a fiber network spanning 3,250 miles in the states of Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota, and South Dakota. The company, which already extended its network to Fargo last year, hopes the acquisition will expand its footprint in the area. It also expects to complete a broadband route from Brainerd to Fargo next year, which will "further enhance [its] capabilities and services in the market," the company said.

"This acquisition further advances our strategy of growing our business and broadband services," HickoryTech President and CEO John Finke said in a statement.

HickoryTech is one of Minnesota's 70-largest public companies based on revenue, which totaled $162 million in its 2010 fiscal year.

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