Monday, September 18, 2006

Citizens to Acquire Commonwealth

Citizens Communications Co. said Monday it will acquire Commonwealth Telephone Enterprises Inc. for $1.16 billion in cash and stock, a move to expand its presence in rural phone markets.

Under the deal, Stamford, Conn.-based Citizens will pay $41.72 for each common share of Commonwealth Telephone, broken down into $31.31 in cash and 0.768 of Citizens' own shares.

The purchase price represents a 17% premium over Commonwealth's Sept. 8 close. On that day, Dallas, Pa.-based Commonwealth publicly disclosed it was "exploring strategic opportunities," an announcement that often leads to a company's sale.