- Associated Press - Friday, December 30, 2016

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - FairPoint Communications is seeking approval from Maine regulators for its potential $1.5 billion sale to an Illinois-based broadband and business communications company.

The proposed merger would create a network in 24 states and has received approvals from the boards of directors of both companies.

The companies say the merger won’t hurt ratepayers or create immediate changes. They say the deal will make both companies more financially stable and increase access to capital at a tough time for the telecommunications industry.

Consolidated says it’s obtained $935 million to refinance FairPoint’s $916 million debt at a “favorable” rate.

FairPoint has struggled with the loss of traditional telephone customers, labor unrest and customer service problems in northern New England.

The deal’s expected to close by mid-2017.

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