Frontier Communications (NASDAQ:FTR) has entered into a definitive agreement to sell its operations and all associated assets in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana to WaveDivision Capital in partnership with Searchlight Capital Partners for $1.352 billion in cash subject to certain closing adjustments.
Frontier's operations in the four states serve more than 350,000 residential and commercial customers as of March 31 and account for $619 million of revenue, $46 million of net income and $272 million of adjusted EBITDA1 for the 12 months ending March 31. The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions, with closing anticipated to occur within one year.
"The sale of these properties reduces Frontier's debt and strengthens liquidity," said Dan McCarthy, Frontier president and CEO. "We are pleased to have a buyer with extensive experience building and operating advanced fiber-based communications assets in these regions. We will be working very closely with the new owners to ensure a smooth, successful transition for our customers and the communities we serve."
WaveDivision Capital, headed by broadband entrepreneur Steve Weed, is based in Kirkland, WA, and brings extensive technical, organizational, and management experience in building and operating residential and business next-generation fiber networks.
"We are excited to be partnering with Searchlight on this opportunity to acquire Frontier's operations in the Northwest," said Weed, CEO of WaveDivision Capital and founder and former CEO of Wave Broadband. "We have a proven track record of customer satisfaction by providing fast, reliable Internet connectivity combined with great service and support. Having grown up in the Northwest, I'm excited to be able to continue to serve my community through this new venture."
"Searchlight is pleased to have reached this agreement with Frontier," said Eric Zinterhofer, founding partner of Searchlight. "We are excited to partner with Steve and his team, who have an outstanding track record of building best-in-class fiber networks, and who will enable us to accelerate the deployment of superior next generation products for our residential and business customers."
Frontier will continue to operate the business and serve customers with existing products and services until the transaction closes. WaveDivision Capital and Searchlight have formed a new company to operate the business and honor existing customer commitments and contracts after the transaction closes.
The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals by the FCC, the U.S. Department of Justice, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), applicable state regulatory agencies, and certain local video franchise authorities.
Across the four states, Frontier's network passes 1.7 million residential and business locations, of which approximately 500,000 are fiber-to-the-premises capable. As of March 31, Frontier served approximately 150,000 fiber broadband, 150,000 copper broadband and 35,000 video connections in the four states.