LIMA – The company behind Watch Communications has announced its acquisition by an outside investment firm.
The Benton Ridge Telephone Company, founded in 1902 in Lima, has the shareholder approval of the acquisition of the company and its subsidiaries, including Watch Communications, by Cequel III, a St. Louis-based investment and management firm. Pending regulatory approvals, the acquisition is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2022, and the purchase price was not disclosed.
“This is an exciting and challenging time in the telecommunications industry,” BRTC President and CEO Chris Daniels said in a statement. “The demand for reliable, high-speed broadband services has intensified over the past two years, driven by a shift in how people work, learn, and are entertained. This has resulted in an unprecedented focus on the ubiquitous delivery of broadband to all Americans, and a sense of urgency to deliver faster and more reliable services than are available in many rural areas today. The acquisition by Cequel III will help fuel the continued expansion of rural broadband services provided through our Watch Communications (‘Watch’) and Community Fiber Solutions (‘CFS’) subsidiaries.”
The acquisition comes at a time when the company, which provides broadband internet, voice, video and other services through its subsidiaries Watch Communication and CFS, has worked to expand its services and coverage area. The BRTC family of companies provides broadband, voice, video, and related services using a hybrid fiber and fixed wireless approach. Using funds from Connect America Phase II, Watch Communications has increased broadband services, now reaching rural communities in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky and Illinois. Since 2019, Watch has increased subscribers and revenue by 62% and 82% respectively. Both Watch and CFS are continuing to work to improve their broadband infrastructure with the goal of providing between 100Mbps and 1Gbps data speeds to all customers over the next two years.
Watch Communications began in 1992 delivering cable television services in rural Ohio communities using wireless technologies. Watch began delivering internet services in 1998. Founded in 2010, CFS is a fiber-focused company delivering broadband, voice, and video services in eastern Indiana and western Ohio.
Reach Dean Brown at 567-242-0409.