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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.

Go deeper

Trump political team disavows "Patriot Party" groups

Marine One carries President Trump away from the White House on Inauguration Day. Photo: Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Donald Trump's still-active presidential campaign committee officially disavowed political groups affiliated with the nascent "Patriot Party" on Monday.

Why it matters: Trump briefly floated the possibility of creating a new political party to compete with the GOP — with him at the helm. But others have formed their own "Patriot Party" entities during the past week, and Trump's team wants to make clear it has nothing to do with them.

2 hours ago - Health

Meta removes over 600 accounts linked to COVID disinformation effort by China

Facebook's corporate headquarters campus in Menlo Park, California. Photo: Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty Images

Meta announced Wednesday it has removed over 600 Facebook and Instagram accounts linked to a Chinese influence operation that claimed the U.S. was pressuring the World Health Organization (WHO) to blame COVID on China.

Why it matters: Though Meta said the network was unsuccessful, it marks yet another COVID disinformation campaign instigated by China in an effort to discredit the U.S.

Stacey Abrams launches second campaign for Georgia governor

Photo: Eze Amos/Getty Images

Stacey Abrams, voting rights activist and former 2018 candidate for Georgia governor, is running for the position again in 2022. Abrams would be the first Black female governor in the country.

Why it matters: Abrams caught national attention in 2018 by narrowly losing an election to Republican Gov. Brian Kemp in a state held firmly by the GOP for nearly two decades.

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