Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners in exclusive WOW! takeover talks

17 May 2022

Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners (MSIP) is in exclusive takeover talks with US cableco Wide Open West (WOW!), Bloomberg reports, citing people with knowledge of the matter. A transaction has not been finalised, however, and it is possible that the talks end without a deal, the source added. The news agency notes that WOW! currently has a market value of around USD1.8 billion and is saddled with USD758 million worth of debt. Crestview Partners has been the largest investor in WOW! since 2015, when it acquired a ‘significant’ stake from Avista Capital Partners for USD125 million. Bloomberg suggests that Crestview currently holds a 36% stake.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, WOW! served 515,000 fixed broadband subscriptions as of 31 March 2022. Previously, in September 2021 WOW! completed the USD1.1 billion sale of its Ohio business to Atlantic Broadband. It went on to conclude the USD661 million sale of its Chicago, Evansville, Indiana and Anne Arundel service areas to Radiate HoldCo, a holding company affiliated with Astound Broadband, in November.

TeleGeography notes that MSIP previously invested in the US broadband sector on 1 December 2020, when it acquired a 49.99% stake in the Lightpath fibre enterprise business from Altice USA; that deal had an implied enterprise value of USD3.2 billion.

United States, Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners (MSIP), Wide Open West (WOW!)