Shoreham Telephone will keep its name.

SHOREHAM, Vt. (AP) – A Maine-based independent telephone company has agreed to purchase the local company that has been in operation for more than a century.

The state now must sign off on the sale between Shoreham Telephone Co. and Mid-Maine Communications. The Federal Communications Commission must also approve the sale.

Mid-Maine also will have to obtain a certificate of public good from the state for the deal to go through.

Documents concerning the deal have not been filed with the state Public Service Board, and both parties have declined to specify the sale price.

Shoreham Telephone, which serves nearly 3,700 customers in and around the community, will keep its name.

Mid-Maine has 6,400 residential lines and several thousand businesses. The company has branched into Bangor, Augusta and Portland.

The third generation of Arnolds who run the company, President Don Arnold and General Manager Jim Arnold, have decided to retire.

Don Arnold said he’s convinced the company will continue to employ local workers.

“It was important to us that they come here and not allow Shoreham to become just a stripped-out shell of a satellite company, but rather use it as a new beachhead and continue to grow the employment possibilities,” said Arnold, whose family has run the company since 1949.

Mid-Maine’s Gary Sugarman said he viewed Shoreham as a rural residential phone company poised for growth. He envisions branching into Burlington, Rutland and Middlebury.

“What Shoreham is to us is what Mid-Maine was almost 10 years ago,” said Sugarman, who is president and chief executive officer of Mid-Maine.

Neighboring independent phone company Waitsfield and Champlain Valley Telecom was among the six unsuccessful bidders for the phone company.

While disappointed not to have been selected, Shoreham’s remaining an independent is good news, said Kurt Gruendling, vice president of marketing at Waitsfield and Champlain Valley Telecom.

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