July 12, 2016

METC and Walnut Communications set to join forces

Marne and Elk Horn Telephone Company (METC) and Walnut Communications, longtime partners during their 100 years in business, today extended that partnership further when they announced they would merge later this year. The merger was recommended for approval by the Board of Directors of each company, and officially approved by the shareholders of both companies earlier this week. The Iowa Utilities Board and the Federal Communications Commission still need to approve the merger before it is final, according to company staff.

The merger is expected to provide both companies with the opportunity to share staff resources, reduce combined operating expenses, and continue to provide customers with the excellent service that both firms have historically provided in their respective areas. The merged company, which will be managed by Janell Hansen, has the capacity to grow in ways the two separate companies could not. 

Bruce Heyne, Walnut Communications, General Manager said, “This merger allows our communities to be served by a local, committed and forward looking communications provider who understands our customers and our rural communities and employs a team of local experts.” 

“We have worked on projects and partnerships for years, so this really is a continuation of a lifetime of work together,” said Marne & Elk Horn General Manager, Janell Hansen. “Bruce and I were talking about his upcoming retirement and the transition plans for the company, when we first discussed this merger. The process evolved from that point.”

Hansen continued, “One of the many reasons this merger works is because we understand rural communities and the people and businesses in western Iowa. There are no plans to close any offices, change staff members or immediately change the names of the companies. Together we are a stronger local entity which can better serve all the customers in both serving areas.”

According to Hansen and Heyne, staff members have expertise in providing state-of-the-art Internet, Digital TV, Voice and cellular services to rural residents. METC is just completing a fiber-to-the-home network that delivers ultra-fast Internet, digital TV and voice services to customers. Walnut is using fiber-to-the-home and other technologies to deliver services to customers.

For more information contact:
Janell Hansen, General Manager

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