SureWest Communications (Nasdaq: SURW) announced today an amendment to its current credit agreement, which lowers the company’s interest rate for an interest expense savings of up to $1 million in 2012. The amendment reduces the interest rate margin by 50 basis points and the quarterly principal payments by half.
Quarterly principal payments will be reduced to $1.9 million from $3.8 million, provided the company’s leverage ratio remains less than or equal to 2.6:1.0 for the preceding two consecutive quarters. The interest savings and reduced principal payments of $7.5 million annually will provide the company with incremental cash flow for continued investment.
“We are very pleased with the terms of this amendment, which increases our flexibility to execute on our broadband growth strategy over the next several years,” said Steve Oldham, SureWest’s president and chief executive officer. “This amendment demonstrates the confidence our lenders have in the success of our business model as we continue our growth through network expansion, adding new subscribers and selling additional services to existing customers. Reducing interest expense and the required annual amortization will provide the company increased cash flow for capital projects which will help drive long-term shareholder value.”
By year end, SureWest will have completed its planned 2011 residential fiber expansion to 15,500 new homes in Kansas City. In 2012, the company plans to pass an additional 10,000 Kansas City homes in areas where it has experienced high penetration levels. SureWest has projected capital expenditures in the range of $68-72 million for 2011 and $60-70 million for 2012. Projected 2013 capital expenditures remain in the $55-65 million range.
A Form 8-K with the final agreement will be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission later today and will be available at www.surw.com under “SEC filings.”
SureWest Communications (www.surewest.com) is a leading integrated communications provider and the bandwidth leader in the markets it serves. Headquartered in Northern California for more than 95 years, SureWest offers bundled residential and commercial services in the greater Sacramento and Kansas City regions that include IP-based digital and high-definition television, high-speed Internet, Voice over IP, and local and long distance telephone. SureWest was the nation’s first provider to launch residential HDTV over an IP network and offers one of the nation’s fastest symmetrical Internet services with speeds of up to 50 Mbps in each direction on its fiber-to-the-home network.