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TMCNet:  Birch Signs Agreement to Acquire Covista Communications Assets

[January 02, 2013]

Birch Signs Agreement to Acquire Covista Communications Assets

ATLANTA, Jan. 2, 2013 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Birch Communications, a leading IP-based telecommunications and managed services provider to small- and medium-sized businesses, announced today that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire select customer and network assets from Covista Communications, Inc. ("Covista"). Covista, which is currently traded under the symbol CVST.PK, is a facilities-based telecommunications service provider that serves business, wholesale and residential customers in 48 states. This transaction marks the 17th acquisition for Birch since 2006.


(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20110606/CG14010LOGO) "Covista's base of high-quality customers are primarily located in several southeastern, southwestern and northeastern states, and fit extremely well into the current Birch footprint. In addition, Covista's Metaswitch-based facilities network, which has switching centers in Tennessee, New York City and Los Angeles, is complementary to our current service footprint while also adding some new markets," said Vincent M. Oddo, Birch President and CEO. "This acquisition will strengthen the breadth and scope of the Birch IP-Network and will further enhance our hosted PBX, SIP trunking and wholesale service offerings." "We look forward to welcoming the Covista customers into the Birch family. We are excited to be able to introduce them to our award-winning customer service team and our outstanding portfolio of IP-based services." said Chris Aversano, Birch chief operating officer. "In 2013, we intend to continue the expansion of the Birch IP-Network service footprint into new markets and to broaden the scope of our managed telecommunications and IT solutions as we anticipate and plan for the needs of our customers." "We are pleased to know our customers will be receiving the same level of customer care at Birch to which they are accustomed," said Warren Feldman, president and CEO of Covista Communications. "With a premium network architecture, along with a varied and competitive product offering, our customers should be confident in building their businesses' future knowing their data and communications services will be provided with excellence and professionalism." About Birch Communications Headquartered in Atlanta, Ga., Birch Communications provides managed communications and information technology services to a target market of small- and medium-sized businesses in select metropolitan areas within 38 states across the United States. Birch services include local and long distance voice, broadband Internet access, T1, PRI, bonded T1, SIP trunking, mobile voice and data, e-mail, voicemail, and many other communications and information technology services. Birch voice and data 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 is 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 Covista CommunicationsFounded in 1983 and currently headquartered in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Covista Communications, Inc. is a competitive local exchange carrier (CLEC) operating in 48 states as well as an FCC 214 international facilities-based carrier. The Company's redundant nationwide network architecture provides mission-critical voice and data applications to customers throughout the United States. The Covista Communication product portfolio extends from traditional switched and dedicated telephone services to the most sophisticated voice and data solutions, hosted IP- PBX services, enhanced wireless services, data storage, and business continuity/disaster recovery services.

SOURCE Birch Communications

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