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Execs, equity firms buy out Wave Broadband

Mon, 06/04/2012 - 2:05pm
Mike Robuck

WaveDivision Holdings, which operates cable operator Wave Broadband and data provider Astound Broadband, is being sold to two private equity firms and members of its management team.

GI Partners, Oak Hill Capital Partners and WaveDivision CEO Steve Weed announced the deal late Friday afternoon.

While financial terms weren’t available in Friday’s press release, Dow Jones Newswires reported that the Kirkland, Wash.-based company was being sold for around $950 million. The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year once it passes regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions.

Formed in 2003 by Weed and Sandler Capital Management, Wave owns and operates broadband cable systems that deliver video, high-speed data and voice services to residential and commercial customers. Operating under the Wave Broadband and Astound brand names, Wave offers its services in the suburban markets of Seattle, San Francisco, Sacramento and Portland, Ore., passing more than 586,000 homes and serving approximately 385,000 revenue-generating units.

“We are extremely pleased to be partnering with Oak Hill Capital and GI,” Weed said. “Both firms bring value-added expertise and impressive track records of successful investments in our industry. Their insight and support will be invaluable as we continue to provide our communities with the highest levels of product quality, speed and customer care available. On behalf of Wave, I would also like to thank the entire team at Sandler Capital for a decade of successful partnership.”

Wave Broadband was rumored to be on the block for most of this year as smaller cable operators have proved to be attractive to investment groups. On the flip side, the smaller cable operators are now faced with increased programming costs, as well as the need to devote more capital to new features and services in order to compete with the satellite and telco video providers.

In April, Wide Open West (WOW) and its backer, private equity fund Avista Capital Partners, struck a $1.5 billion deal to buy Knology.

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