New York-based private equity firm Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Astound Broadband, the holding company which operates regional cablecos RCN Telecom, Grande Communications, Wave Broadband and enTouch, in a deal valued at USD8.1 billion. Collectively, the four units operated by Astound represent the sixth largest cable operator in the US. Stonepeak will acquire the company from TPG Capital and Patriot Media Management. However, as part of the agreement, Patriot Media will continue to invest significantly in the cable networks. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2021 and is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals.
Assets which fall under the Astound banner currently serve eight of the top ten largest metro areas throughout the United States. RCN, Grande, Wave and enTouch serve over one million customers with 23,000 miles of fibre across Chicago, Eastern Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, New York City, Northern California, Oregon, Texas, Washington and Washington, DC.
According to Bloomberg, which cites people familiar with the matter, Stonepeak’s deal pre-empted a competitive auction that was supposed to conclude later this month. Stonepeak beat out a consortium comprising I Squared Capital and Blackstone Group.