Cable One has entered into a definitive agreement to purchase the 85% of Hargray Acquisition Holdings that it doesn’t already own. The deal, which implies a $2.2 billion total enterprise value for Hargray, is expected to close in the second quarter.
Hargray can trace its roots back to 1947 when it began providing telephone service in Hardeeville, S.C., which is in the Hilton Head Island-Bluffton, Beaufort metropolitan statistical area. The company has grown considerably since then, in part through acquisitions, and now offers gigabit-capable services to approximately 99% of its customers in 14 markets in Alabama, Florida, Georgia and South Carolina.
Cable One, which offers service in 21 states, now focuses primarily on broadband, despite the word “cable” in its name. Like Hargray, the company has grown through acquisition.
Cable One has had a minority interest in Hargray since last year, when it swapped assets to gain 15% of the company – a move that allowed Hargray to expand into Alabama.
Hargray isn’t the only company in which Cable One has gained part ownership. In recent months, the company also purchased 45% of Mega Broadband Investments Holdings (MBI), which owns Vyve Broadband and other assets, 40% of Wisper ISP and 10% of Nextlink.
At least one of these deals – the one with MBI – includes an option for Cable One to buy the company outright.
Cable One Hargray Deal
“We look forward to further partnering with Hargray to extend our presence in the Southeast through Hargray’s fast-growing markets, like-minded strategy and commitment to providing fast and reliable internet service to rural markets,” said Cable One President and CEO Julie Laulis, in a press release. “This transaction will also serve as a potential platform for future organic and inorganic growth in the region as we look to expand our footprint.”
Today’s press release did not detail staffing plans but does include a quote from Hargray Chairman and CEO Michael Gottdenker, who said, “Cable One and Hargray have remarkably similar cultures, starting with each company’s focus on delighting its customers. Having led Hargray for nearly 14 years, and having gotten to know Cable One well over the past few years, I am excited about this transaction and am confident that our colleagues, customers and communities will continue to thrive under Cable One’s ownership.”
While Cable One recently has favored partial investments, the company also has made various outright acquisitions in recent years. One of these was the 2019 acquisition of GTCR, which itself had been a consolidator of smaller cable companies. Also in 2019, the company acquired Fidelity Communications.
There were other Cable One acquisitions as well. Cable One rebranded its operations as Sparklight last year.