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T-Mobile exercises option to purchase Shentel’s wireless operations

shentelT-Mobile has exercised its option under Shentel’s affiliate agreement with Sprint to purchase the local company’s wireless operations.

Shentel is the exclusive personal communications service affiliate of Sprint in a multi-state area covering large portions of central and western Virginia, south-central Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and portions of Maryland, Kentucky, and Ohio.

Under the terms of the Sprint affiliate agreement, delivery of this notice triggers the initiation of an appraisal process to determine the entire business value to be paid by T-Mobile for the acquisition of Shentel’s wireless operations.

Shentel’s wireless business generates more than $400 million in revenue with approximately 400 employees throughout its service area.

“Over the last 21 years, the dedicated employees of our wireless business have charted an enormously successful path in the wireless industry,” Shentel President and CEO Christopher E. French said. “We have built the best performing wireless network, deployed an unmatched footprint of stores and kiosks and provided industry leading customer service to over 1 million mostly rural subscribers in our region. Without Shentel, many of our wireless customers would not have otherwise had a reliable provider they could count on for critical connectivity to keep in touch with loved ones or to support their livelihood.”

Prior to T-Mobile exercising the purchase option, Shentel and T-Mobile had been in discussions regarding the framework for the appraisal process if T-Mobile were to exercise its option. The parties were not able to agree on certain terms, and Shentel on Monday delivered to T-Mobile a notice of dispute relating to such appraisal framework and other contractual terms related to T-Mobile’s acquisition of Shentel’s wireless operations.

The notice of dispute triggered the dispute resolution process set out in the affiliate agreement and may lead the parties to extend or otherwise adjust the timeline for the appraisal process and purchase under the terms of the affiliate agreement.

The appraisal and sale process are expected to take at least several months. Shentel plans no further comments on the sale or dispute resolution processes but will provide updates on any material developments as warranted.