UPDATE 1-Consolidated Communications to buy SureWest for $341 mln

Mon Feb 6, 2012 8:13am EST

* To pay $23/shr in cash and stock

* Deal offers 47.5 pct premium

* Deal to add to Consolidated's digital TV, broadband offerings

Feb 6 (Reuters) - Rural telephone services provider Consolidated Communications Holdings Inc said it will buy SureWest Communications for about $341 million in cash and stock, to expand its digital TV and broadband services.

Consolidated will pay $23 per share, a premium of 47.5 percent to SureWest's Friday close of $15.59 on the Nasdaq, and will incur $20 million to $25 million in related merger costs.

The companies said 50 percent of the SureWest shares will be exchanged for cash and the rest for stock.

The transaction will add to Consolidated's free cash flow in the first year after the transaction closes, excluding integration costs, it said.

Consolidate received $350 million in financing from Morgan Stanley Senior Funding Inc to pay for the cash portion of the deal and to refinance SureWest's debt.

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