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The Kelsey Report® Advisory

SunShine Pages Sold to EATEL
Chalres Laughlin , 10/5/2000

Issue: An Independent Leader Exits the Yellow Pages

News: Bill Hammack, a political force in the independent Yellow Pages publishing community, has sold his print directory business, SunShine Pages, to EATEL, a Louisiana-based competing local exchange carrier (CLEC). Terms of the purchase were undisclosed. However, SunShine Pages had $13 million in revenues in 1998. Based on the revenue multiples being paid for quality Yellow Pages publishers, TKG estimates the sale price at between $40 million and $65 million.

EATEL is a competitive local carrier trying to take market share from the incumbent, BellSouth. Its acquisition of SunShine Pages follows a joint venture between the two companies to publish a Yellow Pages directory in Baton Rouge, LA. EATEL also provides long-distance telephony, wireless, Web hosting and e-commerce, and is the largest ISP in Baton Rouge.

As a publisher and as a past chairman of the Association of Directory Publishers (ADP), Bill Hammack was an articulate and tough-minded competitor to the regional Bell operating companies. He led the independents through a number of battles over access to subscriber listings as chairman of ADP's legislative committee, and he also presided over the ADP at the nadir of its relationship with the Yellow Pages Publishers Association.

Hammack will remain active in ewebsystem.com, a SunshinePages subsidiary he created to sell bundled online services to small and medium-sized enterprises. Still, in his own words, he is now "out of the Yellow Pages industry."

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