As expected, private equity firm TPG Capital has purchased Kirkland, Washington-based cable operator Wave Broadband and will combine it with its RCN operation.
The purchase price for parent company WaveDivision Holdings LCC was listed at $2.36 billion.
“Over the last several years we have accelerated our growth substantially by expanding from our heritage of residential broadband services into enterprise-grade fiber,” said Steve Weed, founder and CEO of Wave Broadband, in a statement. “We are excited that our new partners in TPG and RCN recognize the value of what we have created, and share our passion for creating happy customers—we are eager to enter our next era of growth alongside them.”
In April, Oak Hill Capital Management LLC and GI Partners—which jointly own Wave, along with the operator’s top management—hired investment bank UBS Group AG to conduct an auction for the cable company.
Meanwhile, in August of 2016, TPG acquired RCN and Grande Communications for $2.25 billion from another buyout firm, ABRY Partners. That deal closed in February. The acquisition of Wave, which is expected to close in the fourth quarter, would create the nation’s sixth-largest cable operator, trailing Comcast, Charter, Cox, Altice and Mediacom.
Wave’s footprint covers the Sacramento and San Francisco areas, as well as Seattle and Portland, Oregon. Wave will continue to operate as a “branded entity,” TPG said, and will remain headquartered in Kirkland.
Unlike many other cable operators, which have built their networks around DOCSIS technologies, Wave has invested heavily in fiber. The company said last fall that it currently has 1,000 ongoing fiber projects.
“Through our partnership with TPG, and by expanding our footprint with Wave, we are creating a market-leading broadband platform with national reach, broad capabilities and expertise, and exciting growth potential,” said Jim Holanda, CEO of RCN and Grande, in a statement. “We’ve known the team at Wave for many years, and their focus on delivering value to their customers aligns perfectly with ours.”