Nov 2, 2020 - Economy

Stonepeak to buy cable operator Astound Broadband

Illustration of piggy bank tied up in ethernet cable

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners agreed to buy Astound Broadband, the sixth largest U.S. cable operator, from TPG Capital and Patriot Media Management for $8.1 billion (including $4.5 billion of debt).

Why it matters: TPG is expected to generate at least a 3x return, reflecting how cable companies have more than compensated for lost "bundle" revenue with higher-speed internet offerings for customers who are working or schooling from home.

  • Astound has over 1 million customers, via such brands as RCN, Grande, Wave, and enTouch.
  • A source says that the sale process was run by JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley, while Bloomberg reports that rival bidders included The Blackstone Group and I Squared Capital.

The bottom line: "Patriot, which manages Astound, will partner with Stonepeak and continue to run the company. Its operating profits are already climbing at an industry-leading clip and they aim to continue that through a combination of organic growth and further acquisitions in an industry populated by hundreds of smaller operators," per The Wall Street Journal.

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