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Cable One Buys Large Minority Stake In Mega Broadband Investments

Julie Laulis, president and CEO, Cable One

Broadband provider Cable One has purchased a minority stake in Mega Broadband Investments Holdings (MBI) in an all-cash deal worth US$574.1 million.

The stake was transferred to Cable One from GTCR, a private equity backer of MBI. The deal gives Cable One the right to acquire the rest of MBI beginning in 2023.

The deal is subject to adjustment for new debt incurrences and transaction expenses and is expected to close before year’s end.

Cable One is a massive broadband communications provider. Through its Sparklight and Clearwave brands, the company serves more than 900,000 residential and business customers across 21 states.

MBI’s Formation

Founded in 2017, MBI was formed through a series of acquisitions, including Vyve Broadband, Northland Communications and the broadband assets of Eagle Communications.

The companies were unified under the Vyve Broadband brand, which offers high-speed data, television, and voice services to residential and business customers in rural markets in the United States. Areas of operation include Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming.

MBI’s assets include a high-capacity plant with nearly 16,000 network plant miles, including over 4,000 fiber route miles, the company says.

Investing In MBI

Julie Laulis, president and CEO of Cable One, commented on the news:

“This strategic investment in MBI reflects a continuation of our commitment to provide rural America with reliable high-speed internet service. MBI has developed an excellent network in geographies complementary to our existing footprint and we are excited to share in its future growth. MBI’s operating model and local-first focus mirrors our own and we are pleased to partner with MBI.”

Stephen J. Jeschke, managing director, GTCR

Phil Spencer, CEO, MBI

Phil Spencer, CEO of MBI, added:

“This transaction represents the next step of MBI’s ongoing transformation, and I am excited to have the backing of Cable One alongside GTCR. Over the last few years our team has invested significant capital to upgrade our networks, roll out Gigabit internet service, and enhance business services across our footprint. Under our new partnership, we plan to continue making significant investments in our network, our communities, and our employees.”

Stephen Jeschke, managing director at GTCR, concluded:

“We are excited by Cable One’s investment in MBI. We view Cable One as a leader in the industry with its broadband-first approach, which we have sought to emulate at MBI. We look forward to our partnership and our collective continued investment to advance the broadband networks in the rural communities MBI serves.”

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