TDS Metrocom, a subsidiary of Madison-based TDS Telecom, is acquiring Merrimac Communications, based in Merrimac, to fill out its service area located near communities already served by TDS.

The purchase agreement was announced on Wednesday. Terms were not disclosed. The purchase is expected to close in the first quarter of 2018.

Merrimac, owned by Bart and Char Olson, provides cable TV, internet, phone and security products to customers in a three-county area — Sauk, Columbia and Dane counties — serving the villages of Sauk City, Prairie du Sac and Merrimac and the towns of Merrimac, Caledonia, Sumpter, Prairie du Sac, Roxbury, Mazomanie, Greenfield and West Point.

The company, commonly known as Merr-Com, provides high-speed internet service through fiber-optic lines, a way for rural internet service providers to bring the fastest technology to the countryside.

“This investment provides an excellent clustering opportunity for our TDS operations in Wisconsin,” said Jim Butman, chief operating officer at TDS.

“Merrimac Communications services areas nestled between communities TDS already serves, which will allow us to easily connect our network and infrastructure in Dane County with Merrimac’s local operations,” Butman said.

TDS plans to launch TDS TV, its advanced home entertainment system, and build out fiber-optic connections to more customers once the purchase is complete.

“We are confident this transaction will greatly benefit current Merrimac Communications customers, as well as residents and businesses in the area,” Butman said.

TDS Telecom is the seventh-largest local exchange telephone company in the U.S., with 1.2 million customers in 900 communities.

It is a subsidiary of Telephone and Data Systems Inc., with headquarters in Chicago. TDS also owns U.S. Cellular.


Bill Novak is a general assignment reporter for the Wisconsin State Journal.