TXU Communications Sold

TXU Communications has been sold to Consolidated Communications, Inc.

The Dallas-based utility says it'll get $527-million dollars for TXU Communications... all but $3-million dollars of it in cash. The rest will be assumed debt.

The sale is expected to close in the first half of 2004, pending regulatory approval.

Consolidated Communication, headquartered in Mattoon, Illinois, has more than a century of telecommunications experience. Consolidated Communications, Inc. (CCI) ( www.consolidated.com ) is described as a family of companies offering voice and data communications services to both business and residential customers, including local and long distance, Internet, business systems, retail and wholesale operator services, public services and fully integrated telemarketing and fulfillment services.

CCI covers a service area of just under 2,700 square miles and serves nearly 90,000 customer lines in 35 exchanges and ranks as the 25th largest telephone company in the U.S. CCI can now add the acquisition of TXU Communications to its portfolio.

TXU Communications (www.txucom.com) has a long history in Lufkin and Deep East Texas. The company includes two former telephone companies: Lufkin-Conroe Telephone Exchange and Fort Bend Communications.

In 1997, TXU Communications acquired the Lufkin-Conroe Telephone Exchange. Founded in 1898, the exchange brought telephone service to the East Texas town of Lufkin, with its service area expanding to include Conroe, Texas, and the surrounding communities.

In 2000 , TXU Communications grew to include Fort Bend Communications, one of the last family-owned telephone companies in Texas. Founded in 1914, Fort Bend Communications provided service to Katy, Texas, and its neighboring communities.

In early 2002 , TXU announced that it was undergoing a company wide reorganization that would eliminate many jobs in an effort to reduce costs and increase revenue in other areas of the company.

Then, in May of last year , TXU announced that it was selling its interests in telecommunications, including the company's telephone operations based in Lufkin.

Today's announcement begins the final stage of that long process. KTRE-TV will have local reaction to today's announcement and continuing coverage of the acquisition of TXU Communications by Consolidated Communications on the East Texas News and on ktre.com.