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CONTACT: Patricia Van Gerpen, phone (605) 773-3201

PUC notified of Black Hills Corp. and PrairieWave deal

Officials with Black Hills Corporation notified the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission of their agreement to sell Black Hills FiberCom to PrairieWave Communications.

The $103 million deal is expected to be finalized by July 1, provided all state and federal government approvals go as the two businesses' officials anticipate.

"This agreement is a major development in South Dakota's telecommunications industry," said PUC Chairman Gary Hanson. "It brings a lot of synergy for the companies. PrairieWave is a telecommunications leader and this transaction will almost double the size of the company.

This appears to be a good move for both companies, their portfolios, and their customers."

"Black Hills FiberCom has 26,000 customers in the Black Hills. It has been an amazing success story, especially from a customer standpoint," said PUC Vice Chairman Bob Sahr.

"The company has been providing state-of-the-art technology to customers at an extremely competitive price. PrairieWave is known for delivering superb customer service, so its new customers should be well taken care of. This is a win-win."

"The role of the PUC is to look after the state's telecommunications and utility consumers," said PUC Commissioner Dustin Johnson. "We want to make sure these customers are well served. We do not anticipate any problems with the transfer of this business. PrairieWave is already doing a great job of serving 36 markets in southeastern South Dakota. This purchase is a good fit for PrairieWave, and Black Hills Corporation can get back to its core business – which is energy."

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