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Wave Raises $125M to Continue Fiber Build

Wave Broadband said it has raised an additional $125 million to continue an ambitious fiber buildout geared toward serving a growing number of enterprise customers on the West Coast, and is adding two new companies to the fold to help grow its commercial services business.

Wave, based in Kirkland, Wash., initially raised $130 million to start its fiber buildout last year.

The more recent financing, a $125 million add-on to the existing first-lien term loan, will fund the continued project buildout in Washington, Oregon and California, as well as future acquisitions.

Wave currently has more than 1,000 fiber construction projects underway to serve business and residential customers on the West Coast and its commercial services business is its fastest growing segment, growing at a 25% clip last year. According to Wave, new construction is adding more than 100 route miles of fiber each month to its existing network of about 5,500 route miles, serving markets from the San Francisco Bay area north to the Canadian border.

Separately from the financing, Wave said it has purchased two fiber businesses – Newport, Ore.-based CoastCom, and Vancouver, Wash.-based SawNet -- to expand its business offerings. Terms of the deals were not disclosed.  

CoastCom owns more than 250 miles of fiber in Oregon, while SawNet owns more than 100 fiber miles from Portland/Vancouver through the Columbia River Gorge. Wave will add those assets to its fiber network, along with CoastCom’s more than 150 business customers.  

“This financing enables Wave to accelerate the expansion our fiber network to meet the strong demand we are seeing from commercial customers for access to our network’s fast and reliable connections, backed by exceptional customer service,” Wave CEO Steve Weed said in a statement. “We are also very pleased to add CoastCom and SawNet to Wave, as their local fiber networks and business customers complement what we’re already building in Oregon and southern Washington.”

Wave has been placing a greater emphasis on its commercial broadband business for years – Weed said in an interview that it is on a path for business services to represent about half of total revenue. It recently launched Wave G Business service – a 1 Gigabit per second high-speed data offering – to provide symmetrical Gigabit Internet connectivity to companies often found on the ground floors of Wave G-serviced residential apartment buildings.