Updated 1:45 p.m.
The towns of Mooresville and Davidson have found a buyer for Continuum, their jointly owned cable and internet system in the Lake Norman area.
They announced Tuesday night that Wisconsin-based TDS Broadband has agreed to pay $80 million for the system. The company operates cable and telecommunications networks in 30 states.
The two towns' boards approved the proposed deal at separate meetings Tuesday night. The sale still needs voter approval, in a vote on election day in November. If approved, the deal could close by year's end.
TDS said in a press release that Continuum's 70 employees would be offered jobs.
Davidson and Mooresville borrowed $92.5 million to buy and upgrade the system in 2007 after the previous cable system went bankrupt. Since then, it has struggled to add customers and has required several million dollars a year in town subsidies to cover debt payments.
The towns still have about $60.4 million in debt. Proceeds from the sale will pay that off, said Deborah Hockett, Mooresville's chief financial officer. In addition, the town of Davidson owes Mooresville about $1.75 million in back payments toward the debt, which the towns agreed to in a revision of their agreement. That money will come out of Davidson's share of the sale price, a spokeswoman said.
The towns announced in March that they were putting Continuum up for sale.
“Mooresville and Davidson selected TDS because of the strength of its proposal and its leadership in the industry, specifically in areas of our size and geography,” Robert Guth, interim CEO of Continuum, said in a press release. “I strongly believe TDS will carry forward our local vision and continue to deliver a next generation set of communication services to our residential and business customers today and for many years to come.”
Continuum has more than 15,000 customers in Mooresville, Davidson, Cornelius and Huntersville.