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C III to pick up Broadwing's broadband assets

Mon, 02/24/2003 - 7:00pm
Jeff Baumgartner

Closely held C III Communications agreed to snap up the broadband assets of Broadwing Inc. for $129 million in cash.

Under terms of the deal, the unit will continue to operate as Broadwing Communications Services Inc. and C III will retain the unit's current base of employees.

C III's investors include telecom equipment provider Corvis Corp. and Cequel III LLC, Jerry Kent's St. Louis-based investment and management company.

Broadwing Inc. will gain a minority stake in C III, but Cequel III will manage the Broadwing broadband unit. Cincinnati Bell, Broadwing Inc.'s local communications subsidiary, will remain a customer of the Broadwing broadband division and continue to market the unit's products and services.

Broadwing represents a growing list of broadband assets for Cequel III. Last week, Cequel III agreed to put up $85 million to buy Shaw Communications' Texas-based cable systems, and earlier this month agreed to invest in and assume management control of Classic Communications, an MSO with 325,000 subs.

Cequel III President and CEO Jerry Kent said the new structure will give Broadwing Communications the opportunity to expand its market presence.

The assets to be acquired in the deal include 18,700 route miles of fiber optic cables and an all-optical switched network that provides broadband services to more than 1,000 enterprise customers in 137 U.S. markets and long distance services to north of 150,000 subscribers.

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