Utility Telephone Inc. of Stockton acquires Minden telecommunications
September 28, 2010
WPTI Telecom Inc., an Internet and telecommunications provider headquartered in Minden, has been acquired by Utility Telephone Inc. of Stockton, Calif.
Both companies are privately held, and terms of the transaction weren’t disclosed.
The acquisition includes WPTI’s customers in Reno, Carson City and Douglas County, as well as the company’s network assets, said Jason Mills, chief executive officer of Utility Telephone.
WPTI, founded in 1997, worked as a wholesaler and reseller of Internet and telecommunications services to businesses, Internet service providers and Web content companies.
Mills said the acquisition was a logical next step for Utility Telephone, which has been expanding its presence in the Reno-Carson market. The company, which entered the market as it followed existing customers in the hospitality industry and other sectors, added a direct sales team and service technicians to its staff in Northern Nevada this year.
The acquisition sets up a fresh battle in the telecommunications business in Douglas County.
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Verizon Communications, the incumbent provider of telephone services in Douglas County, sold those operations to Frontier Communications of Stamford, Conn. That was part of a move by Verizon to divest itself of landline businesses in 14 states.
Mills said the entry of Utility Telephone into the market provides options for business customers that are examining their choices after the departure of Verizon.
Utility Telephone provides local and long-distance service, as well as data, DSL and Internet services to business customers.
Tony Prestigiacomo, chief executive of WPTI, said he believes Utility Telephone’s culture and approach to the market are a good match for the relationships that have been developed by his company during the past dozen years.
Mills, who launched Utility Telephone in Stockton in 1996, said the company looks to be heavily involved in the Northern Nevada community, even to the level of sponsorships of youth sports teams.
“This is a major expansion for us,” he said.
Utility Telephone has more than 40 employees in offices in Stockton and San Luis Obispo. WPTI has fewer than 10 employees. In a letter to the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada, the companies said they don’t believe the transaction requires PUC approval because less than 10 percent of WPTI’s revenues last year came from retail telephone customers.
They told the PUC they expect the transition to be seamless for WPTI’s customers.
The transaction is expected to close during the current quarter.