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Skyline Acquires Loretto

by | May 12, 2018

West Jefferson, NC – based SkyLine Telephone Membership Corporation (SkyLine) has further expanded its Tennessee footprint through its acquisition of Loretto Telecom (Loretto), a rural ILEC based in southern Tennessee. With the deal, which closed on April 30, 2018, SkyLine added approximately 3,000 access lines across five telephone exchanges in Lawrence and Wayne County, Tennessee. The Loretto purchase comes on the heels of SkyLine’s 2017 acquisition of Chesnee Telephone Company in South Carolina.

SkyLine is a member-owned cooperative that serves roughly 27,500 access lines in northwestern North Carolina and operates the Shady Valley exchange in the northeast corner of Tennessee. Through its wholly-owned subsidiary, SkyBest Communications, SkyLine serves another 3,000 CLEC customers predominantly in areas bordering its ILEC service territory.

SkyLine’s acquisitions of Loretto and Chesnee Telephone are part of a strategic initiative to expand its service footprint and gain scale in an operating landscape marked by increased competition and a shrinking reserve of regulatory support to draw from. Skyline is utilizing acquisitions in combination with an edge-out CLEC strategy into unserved and underserved communities to generate growth and to help replace declining regulatory cash flows.

“Small carriers need scale to remain competitive and profitable, so mergers and acquisitions are one avenue to accomplish this,” according to Jimmy Blevins, Skyline CEO.

Loretto had been owned by the Passarella family for 70 years, who originally purchased the company in 1946. Louise Brown served as President and CEO of the company for many years, also serving as the President of the Tennessee Telecommunications Association (TTA) and a recurring member of the TTA board. Under Louise Brown’s leadership, Loretto established itself as a respected institution in the community, providing quality service to customers and engaging in various initiatives to support and develop Loretto’s service area—a legacy Skyline is committed to uphold.

Jimmy Blevins noted, “Our cooperative and subsidiaries have enjoyed a long history of operating a state-of-the-art network, providing the very latest telecommunications and exceptional customer service, and investing in our communities, and we commit to continue this tradition of excellence for Loretto Telecom customers in the years to come.”

Author

Adam Brissette

Adam Brissette

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