Ritter Communications and Haag Brown Partner to Free-Up Capital for Accelerated Fiber Network Deployment
Ritter Communications has closed on a $6.6 million sale and leaseback transaction for its Jonesboro headquarters building with Haag Brown Development, LLC on Wednesday, May 15. In the transaction, Ritter Communications committed to a 20-year lease on the property with multiple renewal options included.
A sale-leaseback is a common transaction in which a business sells assets and leases them back through a long-term agreement. This transaction allows Ritter Communications to release capital to invest in further network expansions. One such expansion includes the $7 million fiber project recently announced in Hot Springs. Ritter Communications’ operations will be unaffected by the building ownership change and no employees will be impacted.
“We are really proud of our corporate headquarters building here in Jonesboro,” Alan Morse, president of Ritter Communications, said. “We plan to be here for a long time, and our new 20-year lease with Haag Brown reflects that. However, the capital invested in the building wasn’t generating any direct return for our shareholders. This sale-leaseback transaction allows us to free up that capital to invest in further network expansion and new products and services.”
The Ritter corporate office opened in 2012 and was the first LEED Silver Certified office building in the Jonesboro market. It is strategically located within the Hill Park development and currently houses the company’s headquarters operations including network engineering and operations, sales, marketing, customer service, accounting, human resources and information technology systems. Nearly 200 employees currently work at the facility.
“This partnership demonstrates the progressive approach we’re taking to development in Northeast Arkansas,” said Joshua Brown, principal of Haag Brown Development, LLC. “We are more than a retail development firm; our team supports and develops a thriving business community in innovative ways. On a more personal note, being a Marked Tree native where Ritter Communications originated makes the partnership very meaningful for me.”
Ritter Communications is the largest privately-held regional fiber, telecom, video and cloud services provider in the state serving 89 communities and more than 45,000 customers across Arkansas, southeast Missouri and west Tennessee.
About Ritter Communications
Ritter Communications, founded in Marked Tree, Arkansas and headquartered in Jonesboro, began providing local phone service in 1906. Today, Ritter serves 89 communities and more than 45,000 customers across Arkansas, southeast Missouri and west Tennessee. The family-owned company has grown steadily over the years, expanding rapidly since 2010 and is now the largest privately-held regional fiber, telecom, video and cloud services provider in the state. Ritter invests heavily in the communities it serves by deploying proven, best-in-class infrastructure and technology while coupling it with a world-class customer focused experience. The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of E. Ritter and Company, which also operates Ritter Agribusiness and Ritter Investment Holdings.
About Haag Brown Development
Established in 2010, Haag Brown Development is a real estate company with a focus on developing medical, retail and mixed-use developments throughout the Southern United States. The company has been involved with the development, construction, leasing and management of multi and single-tenant projects across 15 states. With over 30 years of retail investment, brokerage and development experience, Haag Brown Development has established an extensive network of local, regional and national tenants. Based in Jonesboro, Arkansas, the company strives to be more than a development firm – they are a project partner with their clients. “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. Philippians 2:3-4