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WOW Closes Sale of Ohio Systems to Atlantic Broadband for $1.125 billion

WOW service truck
(Image credit: WOW)

WideOpenWest said it has completed the sale of its Ohio-area properties to Atlantic Broadband for $1.125 billion. 

The sale of the systems -- in Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio -- was first announced in June. WOW said it would use about $1 billion of the proceeds to pay down debt. 

WOW said a separate deal that was announced at the same time as the Atlantic Broadband deal -- the sale of properties in Chicago; Evansville, Indiana; and Ann Arundel, Maryland to Astound Broadband for $661 million -- is on track to close in Q4.

“The closing of this deal with Atlantic Broadband is a significant step in the execution of our broadband-first strategy, at a critical time in our industry,” WOW CEO Teresa Elder said in a press release. “Our strengthened balance sheet bolsters our ability to invest in key growth areas as we continue to provide reliable, accessible and fast broadband solutions to our customers across our remaining service areas. And we are confident that Atlantic Broadband will be a good steward for our Ohio service area employees and customers.”

Atlantic Broadband is part of Canadian telecom company Cogeco Communications, and the purchase of the Ohio systems is expected to beef up its presence in the U.S.

"This acquisition significantly advances our market expansion strategy in the United States," Cogeco CEO Philippe Jetté said in a press release. "We are looking forward to continuing to bring innovative services, competitive pricing, customer-centric support and operational excellence in these markets."

The Cleveland and Columbus systems pass about 688,000 homes and businesses, and serve about 196,000 internet, 61,000 video and 35,000 telephony customers as of March, according to Atlantic Broadband. 

"We are excited to welcome WOW! customers and colleagues to Atlantic Broadband as we continue to make major progress in our growth strategy," Atlantic Broadband President Frank van der Post said in a press release. "We will work to provide an easy transition for our customers as we integrate operations in the short term and, in the years ahead, we look forward to introducing innovative service enhancements that will ensure our continued leadership in these markets."

BofA Securities is acting as financial advisor to WOW!, and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, as well as Honigman LLP, are serving as legal counsel.

Mike Farrell is senior content producer, finance for Multichannel News/B+C, covering finance, operations and M&A at cable operators and networks across the industry. He joined Multichannel News in September 1998 and has written about major deals and top players in the business ever since. He also writes the On The Money blog, offering deeper dives into a wide variety of topics including, retransmission consent, regional sports networks,and streaming video. In 2015 he won the Jesse H. Neal Award for Best Profile, an in-depth look at the Syfy Network’s Sharknado franchise and its impact on the industry.