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Liberty Global, Searchlight team up to buy OneLink for $585M

Wed, 06/27/2012 - 2:01pm
Mike Robuck

Liberty Global subsidiary LGI Broadband Operations and Searchlight Capital Partners have teamed up to buy Puerto Rico-based cable operator OneLink for approximately $585 million.

Triple-play provider OneLink was owned by MidOcean Partners and Crestview Partners, which paid $250 million in 2005 to buy the property from Adelphia.

The deal is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approval, and is slated to close in the fourth quarter of this year. Once the transaction is completed, Liberty Global will own 60 percent of the newly formed entity, while Searchlight will have the remaining 40 percent stake.

OneLink will be merged with LGI's existing operation, Liberty Cablevision of Puerto Rico, to form the largest cable operator on the island. As of March 31, OneLink passed 347,000 homes and served approximately 262,500 revenue-generating units (RGUs).

"Consistent with our strategy of consolidating markets within our footprint, this transaction will make us the leading provider of cable services in Puerto Rico, passing approximately 70 percent of the cable homes on the island and adding substantial scale to our existing operation,” said Liberty Global President and CEO Mike Fries. “As a leader in innovation in Puerto Rico, particularly in high-speed broadband and HD, we aim to bring that expertise to the OneLink business. On a combined basis, we will have approximately 700,000 homes passed and 480,000 RGUs, generating nearly $300 million in pro forma 2011 revenue. Finally, we are excited about working together with Searchlight and driving value to our respective stakeholders."

Scotiabank acted as financial advisor to Liberty Global and Searchlight in this transaction.

"There is clear strategic logic to this transaction, which will enhance the combined company's ability to offer high-quality communications services throughout Puerto Rico,” said Eric Zinterhofer, co-founder of Searchlight. “Liberty Global is a best-in-class operator, and we look forward to being their partner on this exciting transaction."

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