Olsen Thielen Advises on Telecom Merger

Olsen Thielen CPAs & Advisors (OT) is pleased to announce it has advised on the successful three-way telecom merger between Fiber Minnesota LLC (FM), a spin-off of fiber network operator Cooperative Network Services (CNS), and two other transport carriers: Broadband Visions and Southern Minnesota Broadband. This merger creates one of Minnesota’s most extensive transport networks spanning nearly the entire state. In addition, this combination complements each independent network by providing economies of scale, eliminating redundancies, and benefiting end customers with more reliable broadband services.

How Olsen Thielen Helped. This telecom merger presented unique operational, financial, and governance challenges due to the overlap of owners across the three entities. Valuations of each operating entity were critical to setting initial ownership allocations, and the valuations were revised to account for deal synergies. Additionally, valuation modeling, coupled with financial statement projections of the combined entity, supported the parties in creating a going-forward operating model and ownership structure of FM that made economic sense based on the contributions of all parties. Finally, in addition to technical expertise brought by OT, our client also relied on our deep industry knowledge in the Telecommunications space along with our ability to communicate highly complex and technical concepts across various decision-makers effectively.

How Olsen Thielen’s Consulting Provided Success. Commenting on OT’s capabilities, Jason Dale, CEO of CNS, states: “The OT team played a key role in the success of this merger. Our three networks involve over 30 different owners and ownership groups. We all felt it made sense in our gut, but the complex projections and valuations that the OT team assisted with were critical to objectively confirming the plan. OT’s involvement early on established the foundational model, and we just built on top of that throughout the entire process. This could not have happened without a consulting team that is respected and trusted by all parties. OT provided exactly what we needed”.

Fiber Minnesota LogoFiber Minnesota exists to provide high-capacity, highly-available, and protected fiber connectivity to ISPs, Wireless Carriers, Enterprise customers, and other stakeholders in every corner of Minnesota and surrounding areas. Fiber Minnesota is a key provider of high-capacity fiber-optic backhaul for much of Minnesota and provides IP/TDM Transport, Special Access Circuits, and Ethernet services to the carrier, enterprise, and SMB markets. “Fiber Minnesota: Minnesota. Connected.”

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