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DirecTV Acquires 180 Connect Installation Firm

4/18/2008 10:36:00 AM Eastern

El Segundo, Calif. — Direct-to-home satellite TV operator DirecTV said Friday it has signed a definitive merger agreement with 180 Connect, one of North America’s largest home entertainment system installation, integration and fulfillment services.

The transaction, which is expected to close in the third quarter of 2008, will provide DirecTV with control over a significant portion of its installation and home service network, the company said.

Under the terms of the agreement, DirecTV will acquire 100 percent of 180 Connect's outstanding common stock and exchangeable shares for $1.80 per share.

In a separate related transaction, UniTek USA has agreed to acquire 100 percent of 180 Connect's cable services operating unit and certain DirecTV installation services markets in exchange for UniTek's satellite installation services in New York City, Burbank, Calif., and Bloomington, Calif., and cash.

The transaction is expected to be completed upon completion of DirecTV’s 180 Connect acquisition.

DirecTV said that by acquiring 180 Connect it will gain control of one of its largest installation and home service providers in 45 U.S. market locations throughout California, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Utah, Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Arkansas, Virginia, Hawaii and western Pennsylvania.

Prior to the acquisition, DirecTV had outsourced all its installation service operations through 13 home service provider companies, the company said in a statement.

“The acquisition of 180 Connect enables DirecTV to gain operational control over a large portion of its installation and service network and is an important part of our effort to continuously improve the customer experience,” stated Mike Palkovic, DirecTV operations executive VP. “Our installation technicians are the first and often the only point of face-to-face contact that a customer has with DirecTV and this merger underscores the importance we place on this interaction.”

“After carefully evaluating alternative strategies, we concluded that in the current and foreseeable market conditions, the sale of the company represents a compelling opportunity to realize value for the shareholders of 180 Connect,” stated Peter Giacalone, 180 Connect president and CEO. “We are very pleased to have found the right buyer for the Company and are confident that industry leading DirecTV will take this business to the next level.”

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