January 20, 2015
Long Lines, the communications carrier serving Siouxland for more than 70 years, announced today that it has agreed to be acquired by Schurz Communications, Inc., a diversified, privately-owned communications firm based near South Bend, IN. The sale is expected to close during the first quarter of 2015, following governmental approvals. Schurz intends to retain Long Lines’ current management and employees.
Long Lines provides telephone, cable TV and internet broadband services to more than 20,000 business and residential customers in the metro Sioux City area and in Orange City, Mapleton, and other communities in Woodbury, Monona, Ida, and Harrison counties. Long Lines more than doubled the size of its fiber network during 2014, now extending as far east as Algona, IA and as far south as Omaha. With broadband speeds up to 10 Gbps, it offers among the fastest internet connections available in the tri-state area. Long Lines is also nearing completion of a new state-of-the-a cable TV network center in Salix, IA.
Schurz operates cable systems serving 90,000 customers in Indiana, Florida, Maryland, and Arizona. Schurz also owns a number of media outlets across the U.S., including 11 television stations and 12 radio stations – among them KOTA-TV in Rapid City, SD – and publishes 11 daily and 8 weekly newspapers with a combined circulation of 225,000 readers. Like Long Lines, Schurz has always been a family-owned and operated company.
Charles A. Long, whose father founded Long Lines in 1941, said that the sale was bittersweet. “The Long family has tremendously enjoyed serving our Siouxland friends for many years, but to offer the best cable TV and broadband services today requires the investment and resources of a large media enterprise. It’s in the best interest of our customers that Long Lines join a company with the resources of Schurz Communications, and we are extremely pleased that Long Lines will remain family-run – just with another family at the wheel.”
Brent Olson, CEO of Long Lines, said he was pleased that Schurz would provide the resources necessary to continue Long Lines’ rapid growth in the region. “Joining the Schurz family of companies will allow us to continue to provide the highest level of service and value to Long Lines customers. The support from Schurz will allow us to expand our HD programming, to increase our internet speeds, and to make Long Lines services available to more customers.”
Todd Schurz, President/CEO of Schurz Communications, said, “Long Lines is a great company in an attractive and growing region. We are excited to work with the Long Lines team to provide the best service and most innovative products to our customers. Our family is humbled and honored that the Long family has chosen us to build upon their legacy.”
SunTrust Robinson Humphrey served as exclusive financial advisor to Long Lines. Matrix Capital Markets Group served as financial advisor to Schurz Communications.
About Long Lines
At Long Lines, we earn customer loyalty through our service, support, and value. We bring the latest in innovations in telecommunications and entertainment right into your home or business – from HD television to the highest-speed internet over Siouxland’s largest and most advanced fiber optic network. We believe in investing in our communities through our giveback program, and we support our communities through volunteer activities, local event sponsorship, and charitable donations. For more information about Long Lines, please visit www.longlines.com.