Private equity firm GTCR snaps up NewWave

Private equity firm GTCR has acquired NewWave Communications from Pamlico Capital. The deal's value was not revealed, but the acquisition was completed through GTCR's partnership with Rural Broadband Investments (RBI), which was formed last year to acquire the broadband infrastructure assets in small and mid-size communities.

NewWave offers cable and broadband services in rural Illinois, Indiana, Missouri and Arkansas. The company has approximately 90,000 customers and passes about 250,000 homes.

This is the first RBI deal for GTCR, but the company, which is headed by former Windjammer Cable CEO Phil Spencer, plans to acquire more small systems in the 300,000 to 400,000 subscriber range. Spencer said NewWave was an appealing target because it was moving to DOCSIS 3.0 and constructing fiber to tie its markets together. "These efforts give us an outstanding platform to roll out enhanced video, voice and high-speed internet services as well as advanced commercial services," Spencer said in a statement.

Spencer is a former president of Everest Connections Corp., which was acquired by SureWest Communications in 2008. In 2010, he was named president of Windjammer Cable, which operated systems counting 17,000 subscribers in Alabama and Georgia. Charter Communications (Nasdaq: CHTR) closed a deal to buy Windjammer in 2011.

Interestingly, former FCC Chairman Reed Hundt is a senior advisor at GTCR and an RBI member. GTCR has $3.25 billion of committed capital and is focused on investing in growth companies in the technology, healthcare and information services industries.

For more:
- see this press release

Related articles:
Phil Spencer's Rural Broadband Investments buys NewWave
SureWest to sell Kansas City, Sacramento operations to Consolidated Communications
LodgeNet replaces CEO with Windjammer chief Philip Spencer
NewWave closes Comcast deal; Rogers upgrades Internet speeds
LodgeNet banks on DirecTV partnership to emerge from bankruptcy

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