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Cincinnati Bell Wins FCC Approval to Acquire Hawaiian Telcom

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Cincinnati Bell Inc. (CBB - Free Report) recently announced that it has received final regulatory approval from the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) to acquire Hawaiian Telcom Holdco, Inc. . The transaction is now subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions.

Headquartered in Honolulu, Hawaiian Telcom is Hawai‘i’s technology leader. The company provides integrated communications, broadband, data center and entertainment solutions for business and residential customers.

Hawai‘i Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs’ Cable Television Division had given a green signal to the merger on Dec 8, 2017, which was followed by the nod of Hawai‘i Public Utilities Commission on Apr 30, 2018.

Moreover, the merger has cleared the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act review period and received lot of support from Hawaiian Telcom shareholders.

Cincinnati Bell and Hawaiian Telcom have set an election deadline on Jun 21 for the latter’s stockholders to decide on the form of consideration they wish to receive for the deal, on a proration basis. The merger is expected to close on Jul 2.

Together, Cincinnati Bell and Hawaiian Telcom will be a stronger communications and technology company. The merger will boost innovation as well as build scale and fiber density across Cincinnati Bell’s footprint.

The strategic move will bring the company a step closer to delivering more competitive products and services, including continued expansion of Next Generation Fiber Network to customers across Hawai‘i.

Cincinnati Bell is focusing on transforming itself from a legacy copper-based telecommunications firm to a technology company with contemporary fiber assets servicing both consumer and business customers with flexible data, video, voice and IP solutions.

Over the past three months, shares of Cincinnati Bell have rallied 4.5% against the industry’s decline of 9.9%.         

Cincinnati Bell currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Better-ranked stocks in the broader industry include Atmos Energy Corp. (ATO - Free Report) and UGI Corp. (UGI - Free Report) , both carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.              

Atmos Energy has a long-term earnings growth expectation of 7%. It exceeded earnings estimates thrice in the trailing four quarters with an average positive surprise of 8.8%.    

UGI has a long-term earnings growth expectation of 8%.

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