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GTCR, Rural Broadband strike deal to buy NewWave Communications

Thu, 02/14/2013 - 2:52pm
Mike Robuck

Private equity firm GTCR and Rural Broadband Investments have struck a deal to buy NewWave Communications from Pamlico Corp.

Financial terms of the definitive agreement weren’t released, or the target date for the closing.

GTCR and Rural Broadband CEO Phil Spencer formed Rural Broadband in October with the long-term goal of acquiring 300,000-400,000 cable subscribers in small-to-mid sized rural markets. The NewWave deal serves as the jumping off point for Rural Broadband’s plans as a cable operator, with more deals to follow.

NewWave is the 22nd largest MSO in the country passing approximately 250,000 homes and with more than 90,000 customers in rural Illinois, Indiana, Missouri and Arkansas.

“The acquisition of NewWave Communications is a great first step and provides us with an excellent platform to build upon,” Spencer said. “NewWave has done an outstanding job upgrading its network, moving to DOCSIS 3.0 and constructing fiber to tie their markets together. These efforts give us an outstanding platform to roll out enhanced video, voice and high-speed Internet services as well as advanced commercial services. In addition, NewWave has an outstanding employee base and we plan to continue to build on the great work they have done over the last several years.”

GTCR’s investment in NewWave will be made from GTCR Fund X, a private equity fund with $3.25 billion of committed capital.

Two years ago, Time Warner Cable bought cable systems serving about 70,000 video subscribers from NewWave Communications for $260 million in cash. That deal also included 42,000 high-speed data subscribers and 26,000 phone subscribers. The customers were in Kentucky and western Tennessee.

Earlier that same year, MCG Capital completed its sale of Avenue Broadband to NewWave Communications for $50.4 million.

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