Overbuilder WOW Sells for $800M-Plus

Private equity firm Avista Capital emerged the winner of an auction for cable overbuilder Wide Open West.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but one executive familiar with the deal says Avista is paying around $850 million.

That comes to around 9.5 times 2005 operating cash flow, in line with valuations of conventional cable operators that do not try to directly compete with other wired cable systems as WOW does.

Avista was started earlier this year by former executives of Credit Suisse First Boston. They have so far raised $2.1 billion. CSFB and Waller Capital Corp. advised WOW on the sale.