Private equity firm Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners is set to make the purchase including $4.5 billion in debt
It has today been announced that private equity firm Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners is set to acquire Astound Broadband, the US’ sixth largest cable operator, for a total of $8.1 billion.
Astound comprises the various regional broadband networks in the US, including RCN, Grande, Wave, and enTouch, serving over one million customers. The combined fibre networks span around 23,000 miles in Chicago, Eastern Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, New York City, Northern California, Oregon, Washington DC, and Washington.
Current owner TPG had been looking for buyers since earlier this autumn, but some sources suggest that the offer from Stonepeak arrived before the arranged auction, jumping the gun on a potential bid from a consortia made up from I Squared Capital and Blackstone Group.
I Squared Capital themselves are already in the process of purchasing their own telecoms infrastructure from GTT, including 103,000 km of fibre in the US and Europe, as well as three transatlantic submarine cables.
For Stonepeak, this acquisition represents a similarly growing interest in digital infrastructure. The company already has a $25.2 billion portfolio containing investments in energy, storage, and digital infrastructure, the latter of which they view as a key area for investment given the current soaring broadband demand brought on by the pandemic.
“In our increasingly connected society, we believe there is an extraordinary opportunity to deliver faster speeds and greater coverage, fundamentally enabling many aspects of everyday life,” noted Stonepeak partner Brian McMullen.
Pending regulatory approval, the deal should close in Q2 2021.