Consumer Cellular, which operates a call center in Redmond, has agreed to sell a majority stake of its company to private equity firm GTCR, according to a company statement.
The sale, which is expected to close by the end of the year, was for an undisclosed amount, according to the company. The company will keep its existing office and call center locations in Oregon and Arizona. It employs nearly 2,000 people companywide, and 253 people in Redmond.“As a thank you for all of their hard work, current eligible employees will receive up to the equivalent of a year and a half worth of their current yearly salary, paid out over the next year,” said John Marick, current company CEO. “We are so proud of our employees who take such good care of our almost 4 million customers.”
Marick, the company co-founder, will retire when the sale is finalized and remain on the board of directors. Ed Evans will assume CEO duties at Consumer Cellular.
Chicago-based GTCR was founded in 1980, according to company information. It is a private equity firm investing in growth companies in health care, financial services, technology and media and telecommunications.
Consumer Cellular, founded a quarter of a century ago in Portland, appeals to the 50-plus demographic with its prepaid, no-contract wireless services. It has about 4 million subscribers nationwide.
Consumer Cellular has been in Redmond since 2012, in what had been a T-Mobile call center. At that point, the community was facing the loss of 600 jobs, but Consumer Cellular was able to take over half of those jobs.
“We’re excited to learn more about this transaction,” said Jon Stark, Redmond Economic Development Inc. senior director. “Central Oregon has had good success with companies growing to the point of acquisition, and the transactions have historically added horsepower and resources to continue growth many times at even greater trajectory.”
The company was ranked Redmond’s fourth-largest employer in 2019 by Economic Development for Central Oregon, a nonprofit corporation that works to create economic diversity.