Hawaiian Telcom announced today that it has entered into a definitive purchase agreement to acquire inter-island submarine and middle-mile terrestrial fiber infrastructure assets currently owned by the bankruptcy estate of the Paniolo Cable Company.
The addition of this fiber infrastructure, which is the newest inter-island system serving Hawaii, will augment Hawaiian Telcom’s existing backbone network and increase the company’s total submarine and terrestrial fiber footprint by more than 400 miles. The acquisition will enable access to these underutilized assets, strengthen the diversity of network connections, and support Hawaiian Telcom’s continued broadband expansion statewide.
“As a leading local broadband provider, we are committed to continuing to invest in Hawaii and deliver fast, reliable broadband service to residents and businesses across the islands,” said Su Shin, President and General Manager of Hawaiian Telcom. “The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the critical importance of connectivity. This acquisition will advance our goal of strengthening and expanding broadband access in support of economic development, education and quality-of-life initiatives throughout our state.”
Since 2010, Hawaiian Telcom has invested more than $500 million in expanding its statewide fiber network and has successfully deployed broadband infrastructure across 178,000 locations, including 10,000 homes and businesses in rural areas across Hawaii’s neighboring islands.
Hawaiian Telcom will acquire the assets for a total purchase price of $50 million, which the company will pay through a combination of $25 million in cash and $25 million in committed purchase money financing. The transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions, including approval of the bankruptcy court and federal regulatory authorities, is expected to close in the third quarter of 2021.
Hawaiian Telcom has agreed to maintain the Paniolo network prior to the close of the asset acquisition, enabling Sandwich Isles Communications (SIC), which is not part of the acquisition, the ability to appropriately service its customer base, which includes its customers on the Hawaiian Home Lands.
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, BosseLaw PLLC and Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP provided legal advice to Hawaiian Telcom. Stephens Inc. is acting as the company’s financial advisor.