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Press Release -- June 10th, 2013
Source: Birch Communications
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Birch Signs Agreement to Acquire Ernest Communications Assets

Atlanta, Ga. – June 10, 2013 - Birch Communications, a leading IP-based communications and cloud services provider to small- and medium-sized businesses, announced today that it has signed an asset purchase agreement to acquire the client base, accounts receivable and physical assets of Ernest Communications. Ernest, a leading North American voice and data services aggregator for multi-location enterprise business has been a top telecommunications provider for nearly twenty years. Following this acquisition, Birch will be providing service to business customers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Canada and Puerto Rico. This transaction marks the 19th acquisition for Birch since 2006, and is expected to close in the third quarter of this year.

“The suite of solutions Ernest currently provides to their business clients – voice, data and hosted/managed services – are a perfect complement to the current Birch business product offerings,” said Vincent M. Oddo, Birch president and CEO. “At Birch, we strive to provide our valued business customers with the highest level of products and customer satisfaction. This is the same approach that Ernest has taken during the past 17 years, and we are thrilled to add all of Ernest’s capabilities and expertise to the Birch product umbrella!”

“I am extremely pleased about joining our Enterprise Sales, Client Implementation, and Account Management teams with the Birch staff,” said Paul Masters, Ernest president. “Our existing clients will undoubtedly benefit from Birch’s network coverage, extensive resources, and next generation technology solutions. Our two companies are similarly aligned in culture and values as evidenced by their passion for teamwork, honesty and integrity, and focus on customers. Ernest would not have made this move unless we felt the ultimate benefit would be to our clients and Sales Partners.”

“We are excited to introduce the Ernest business clients to our award-winning 24x7 customer service, as well as to our expanded product portfolio of leading edge IP-based services,” said Birch Chief Operating Officer, Chris Aversano. “We anticipate that the Ernest clients will experience a seamless transfer to Birch, and benefit from our dedication to providing quality service via our team of support professionals.”

“Additionally, we look forward to welcoming many of the Ernest Sales Partners into the Birch family,” said Chris Ramsey, Birch senior vice president, chief sales and marketing officer. “We are committed to making this merger a smooth transition for all.”

About Birch Communications 

Headquartered in Atlanta, Ga., Birch Communications provides IP-based communications and cloud services to small and medium-sized businesses in select metropolitan areas across the United States. Birch services include: local and long distance voice, broadband Internet access, T1, PRI, bonded T1, PRI & DSL, SIP trunking, hosted PBX, wireless voice and data, hosted e-mail & applications, voicemail, and many other communications and cloud services. Birch voice and broadband services are, in most cases, delivered using Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology on the Company’s secure IP-Network rather than over the public Internet.

According to Inc. 500|5000 magazine in its 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009 and 2004 rankings, Birch was one of the fastest-growing private companies in the United States. In 2010, Birch was also named the 7th fastest growing private business in Atlanta, and in 2011 as one of the Top 100 Private Companies in Atlanta, by the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Please visit www.birch.com for more information.

About Ernest Communications

Incorporated in 1998, Ernest Communications has roots in the telecom industry that date back to 1984. At that time, Joseph Ernest founded Ernest Telecom, a company devoted to the design and manufacture of printed circuit boards. In 1992, Paul Masters joined Ernest Telecom, and over the course of five years held various sales leadership and senior management positions before becoming President in 1996. Recognizing the opportunity to gain access to the country’s nearly 200 million local lines, Ernest and Masters co-founded Ernest Communications, Inc. and the Company quickly became one of the nation’s largest telecommunications companies dedicated exclusively to serving multi-location businesses throughout North America. Additional information can be found at: www.ernestgroup.com.

Birch Communications Media Contact:
Laura Wagner, Manager, Marketing
laura.wagner@birch.com
816.300.1438

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