Midco buys WOW’s cable system in Lawrence, Kansas, calls it 'cultural' fit

In this file photo from June 2016, Midco completed an expansion on its West Fargo operations center. The company has announced it will acquire the WOW! system in Lawrence, Kansas. Image: Midco

Midco has acquired cable TV, internet and phone systems in Lawrence, Kan. from WOW for an undisclosed sum, the companies announced today. 

With the agreement, Sioux Falls, S.D.-based Midco will enter the state of Kansas for the first time, serving more than 30,000 customers across Douglas, Leavenworth and Wyandotte counties. Midco is also purchasing Lawrence’s only local TV broadcast station, WOW Channel 6. 

"While Midco is not about growth for the sake of growth, we are always interested in acquiring quality systems that are consistent with our style of operation," Tom Simmons, senior VP and chief of staff for Midco, told FierceCable. "When the Lawrence system became available, it piqued our interest immediately. We know WOW to be solid operators, and when we checked out the community we felt a sense of pride not unlike that of the towns we currently serve.  We were impressed with the Lawrence area’s diverse economy, the University of Kansas, and Forbes recognition in 2015 as the No. Best Small Place for Businesses and Careers in the nation. Our operations headquarters is in Sioux Falls, SD and ranked No. 3 on the same list. Cultural is very important to us and our CEO, Pat McAdaragh, said this acquisition 'just feels like the right cultural fit.' Our history proves that we take a great deal of pride in our customers and communities, and we tend to serve them for a very long time."

WOW Lawrence passes 67,000 homes and businesses. Up until 2010, it operated as Sunflower Broadband, an independent, locally owned telecom company. The deal is still subject to regulatory approval. 

RELATED: WOW product VP: 'Video will continue to be key category'

Midco currently serves 350,000 customers in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin. It operates a regional sports network focused on high-school athletics, Midco Sports Network. 

Denver-based WOW provides TV, internet and voice service to 20 markets in states including Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Maryland, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina, Florida and Georgia. In August, Wow acquired Georgia cable operator NuLink for $53 million. 

In January, Midcontinent Communications rebranded itself under its nickname Midco and began to roll out 1 Gbps services to its entire serving area. That project is set to be completed by the of 2017.