Cincinnati Bell today announced an agreement by which institutional investment firm Brookfield Infrastructure will acquire it for approximately $2.6 billion, including debt. Brookfield Infrastructure has a global portfolio of assets in the utilities, transport, energy and data infrastructure sectors across North and South America, Asia Pacific and Europe.
Cincinnati Bell (CBB) owns and operates networks in Cincinnati, Ohio and Hawaii, with a footprint of over 1.3 million homes, offering fiber broadband, video and voice services to residential and enterprise customers. Like many other telcos, Cincinnati Bell has been investing in fiber broadband networks, with 17,000 miles of dense metro and last-mile fiber assets in place, with plans to further upgrade its network over the next few years.
As of the end of the third quarter 2019, Cincinnati Bell reported 269K fiber broadband subscribers. FTTP connections are available to 653K total locations across the carrier’s entire footprint. The company reported year-to-date revenue for 2019 at $1.15 billion, with a net loss of $46 million, as of 3Q19.
“The transaction strengthens our financial position, enabling accelerated investment in our strategic products that is not presently available to Cincinnati Bell as a standalone company,” said Leigh Fox, President and Chief Executive Officer of Cincinnati Bell in a prepared statement. “The financial, management, and other resources made available to Cincinnati Bell through the acquisition will enhance our networks and services to the benefit of our customers in Hawaii, Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana, and across the nation.”
According to a press release announcing the deal, pursuant to the agreement, each issued and outstanding share of CBB common stock will be converted into the right to receive $10.50 in cash at closing. This price represents a 36% premium to the closing per share price of $7.72 on December 20, 2019 and an 84% premium to the 60-day volume weighted average price.
The deal has received unanimous approval of CBB’s Board of Directors and is subject to customary closing conditions, including Cincinnati Bell shareholder approval and regulatory approval. The transaction is expected to close by the end of 2020.
This deal caps off quite a busy year in the telecom sector for mergers and acquisitions.