Atlantic Broadband completes purchase of Metrocast cable networks

Cogeco Communications Inc. (TSX: CCA) said its Atlantic Broadband subsidiary has completed the purchase of cable systems owned by Harron Communications, L.P. and operating under the MetroCast brand name. Atlantic Broadband paid a $1.4 billion purchase price for the assets, which came through $1.85 billion of secured debt via a combination of term loan B and revolving credit facility financings, says the company.

Cogeco Communications Inc. (TSX: CCA) said its Atlantic Broadband subsidiary has completed the purchase of cable systems owned by Harron Communications, L.P. and operating under the MetroCast brand name.

Atlantic Broadband paid a $1.4 billion purchase price for the assets, which came through $1.85 billion of secured debt via a combination of term loan B and revolving credit facility financings, says the company. Additionally, it raised a $315 million equity investment by Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) for a 21% interest in Atlantic Broadband's holding company. These proceeds were used not only to finance the purchase price, but also to refinance Atlantic Broadband's existing debt, says Cogeco.

Cogeco announced the purchase agreement in July, among ongoing consolidation among other U.S. cable operators (see "Atlantic Broadband to buy Metrocast cable networks").

According to Cogeco, Atlantic Broadband will expand its operations throughout 11 East Coast states in the U.S. upon the transaction's completion. The combined company will produce more than $710 million in combined revenue on a pro forma basis, and will have 1,250 employees.

Cogeco says MetroCast will retain its brand name and continue offering its existing TV, internet, and phone services to business and residential customers for the time being. However, it will start offering a suite of improved services under the Atlantic Broadband brand name in spring 2018, says the company.

"This acquisition establishes Atlantic Broadband as a strategic platform in the U.S. with a diverse footprint extending up the east coast from Florida to Maine," said Louis Audet, Cogeco president and chief executive officer. "It has been a great opportunity to partner with CDPQ for this transaction and we look forward to working with them to continue to grow this business in the U.S."

MetroCast employs both fiber to the home (FTTH; see, for example,"MetroCast chooses Motorola's RF over glass for FTTH") and DOCSIS-based hybrid/fiber coax (HFC) infrastructure in New Hampshire, Maine, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia.

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