BCI Broadband Agrees To Buy James Cable

With the ink barely dry on its first cable systems deal, BCI Broadband, the mid-sized  market MSO headed by two former Bresnan Communications executives, has agreed to purchase long-time small market operator James Cable for an undisclosed sum.

BCI closed its first deal – Allegiance Broadband, with about 40,000 customers in Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, Kansas and Missouri – on April 4 and that same day announced the James Cable agreement. The James Cable deal will build on the existing footprint in Oklahoma and Texas while expanding into markets passing less than 130,000 homes in Louisiana, Georgia, Wyoming and Colorado.

BCI is headed by former Bresnan CEO Jeff DeMond and former chief financial officer Andrew Kober and is backed by BBH Capital Partners (BBHCP), a private equity fund sponsored by Brown Brothers Harriman & Co.

BCI announced the Allegiance deal in January and said it would be the first in what was hoped to be an aggressive growth strategy. In a statement Thursday, BCI appears to be continuing down that path.

“The acquisition of James Cable complements our initial acquisition of Allegiance perfectly and is an essential step in our business plan to build scale within a sensible non-urban footprint as we deliver industry leading products and services to markets that have strong, pent-up demand and room to expand share,” DeMond said in a statement.

James Cable has been on the block in the past, and weathered a bankruptcy filing in 2003. The company emerged later that year with its largest bondholder at the time, Golden Tree Asset Management, a New York-based asset manager with about $17 billion in assets under management, taking control of the company.

Golden Tree had agreed to sell James Cable to Broadstripe in 2007, but that deal was apparently never closed and Broadstripe itself later filed for bankruptcy.

Broadstripe eventually sold its systems for about $95 million to WideOpenWest and Wave Broadband. 

James Cable currently operates under the brand name Mediastream. 

“We are proud of the company we have built and are excited about its future with BCI,” said James Cable CEO Kate Adams in a statement. “Their track record of success gives us confidence that our employees, customers and communities will continue to benefit from enhancements in product and service offerings.”

Waller Capital Partners served as the exclusive financial advisor to GoldenTree and James Cable on the transaction.  Waller Capital also served as the exclusive financial advisor to Allegiance on its sale to BCI.