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Stonepeak buys broadband giant Astound for $8.1bn

Independent investment firm says it will continue to expand Astound with organic network expansion and additional M&A opportunities.

By João Marques Lima

Founder and Editor, The Tech Capital

3 Mins

August 20, 2021 | 12:00 AM BST

Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners has closed the US$8.1 billion acquisition of American telecommunications holding company Astound Broadband, held until now by TPG Capital and Patriot Media Management

Kirkland-based Astound was formed in January 2018 and is today the sixth-largest US cable operator in the country, operating regional providers RCN, Grande Communications, Wave Broadband and enTouch Systems.

Astound, led by the Patriot Media management team, has built high-speed communication networks for residential and businesses customers.

The company offers gigabit speeds serving eight of the top ten largest metro areas throughout the US.

RCN, Grande, Wave and enTouch together serve over one million customers with 23,000 miles of fibre across Chicago, Eastern Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, New York City, Northern California, Oregon, Texas, Washington, DC., and Washington state.

Since the announcement of the transaction with Stonepeak in November 2020, Astound has continued to execute on strategic growth initiatives including signing two additional transactions including the acquisition of WideOpenWest’s Chicago, Indiana, and Maryland markets, and the acquisition of Harris Broadband, a provider of fibre to the home services across central Texas.

Stonepeak said it will partner with the Astound management team to continue this momentum as the company remains active across multiple growth areas, including organic network expansion, additional M&A opportunities and efforts to accelerate its residential and commercial segments.

Brian McMullen, senior managing director at Stonepeak, said: “The acquisition of Astound marks Stonepeak’s second investment in residential broadband in North America and represents the largest asset in Stonepeak’s global communications portfolio, which includes eight digital infrastructure investments to date.

“Broadband plays a critical role in today’s economy and society, particularly as the need for faster speeds and greater coverage continues to grow. We are excited to close this transaction and to continue working with Jim, Steve and the Patriot Media team to further accelerate Astound’s growth and provide greater access to critical digital infrastructure across the country.”

Jim Holanda, CEO of RCN, said: “Stonepeak’s experience building businesses and its commitment to helping companies grow make it the ideal partner as we continue to deliver high-performing broadband and provide exceptional service to our customers.”

The Stonepeak digital infrastructure portfolio includes data centre, fibre, residential broadband, small cell and tower assets across the Americas, Asia and Europe with cumulative enterprise value and equity commitments of more than $30 billion.

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João Marques Lima

Founder and Editor, The Tech Capital

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