U.S. cable MSO Cable One, Inc. (NYSE: CABO) says it will create a joint venture focused on fiber to the premises (FTTP) provision alongside affiliates of GTCR LLC, Stephens Capital Partners LLC , The Pritzker Organization, LLC (TPO), and certain members of the venture’s management team.
The new Clearwave Fiber LLC will combine the assets Cable One’s Clearwave Communications subsidiary and certain fiber assets of Cable One’s subsidiary Hargray Communications, which it purchased last year.
Clearwave Fiber will focus on bringing FTTP based broadband services to residential and business customers in its current footprint as well as near-adjacent markets.
Cable One says that all the participants will provide what it called “substantial cash investments” in the joint venture but did not provide further capitalization details.
The cable MSO says it will own a majority of Clearwave Fiber but will receive no cash proceeds from the venture’s creation. All of the stakeholders will have representation on the venture’s board.
Executive Chairman Michael Gottdenker and CEO David Armistead, both from Hargray, will lead the enterprise. Stephens and TPO were investors in Hargray.
“This strategic investment will help accelerate the deployment of fiber-based broadband services to a range of markets, including underserved areas of the country,” said Gottdenker. “Our team is motivated by our shared core values of customer service and improving lives through connectivity and is excited to bring fast and reliable Clearwave Fiber broadband to homes and businesses across the country. We are thrilled to welcome GTCR, Stephens, and TPO to the Clearwave Fiber family and look forward to our continued partnership with Cable One.”
“We look forward to supporting and sharing in Clearwave Fiber’s growth over the coming years while remaining focused on our primary business, increasing penetration rates, integrating recently acquired companies and driving higher margins and greater free cash flow,” added Julie Laulis, Cable One’s president and CEO. “We did not take lightly our choice of partners in this transaction and are excited to be working with like-minded individuals who share our core principles.”
The announcement is another example of cable MSOs worldwide seeking to deploy more FTTP infrastructure. The trend includes recent fiber footprint expansion announcements from Atlantic Broadband in the U.S., Rogers Communications in Canada, and Liberty Global in Europe.