Regional cable broadband operator WideOpenWest, which operates as WOW!, is exploring strategic options, including a possible sale, according to a Bloomberg report.
The Englewood, Colo. based provider operates a network that passes 1.9 million locations across 14 markets, primarily in the Midwest and Southeast. As of the end of 2021, the company reported 533K customers.
Given the attraction of broadband assets to the investor and private equity community, WOW! may be looking at an opportune time to cash out. The company’s stock price was up 12% in early trading yesterday on the news, according to the Bloomberg report.
Private investors are actively pursuing broadband deals these days. Examples include Lumen spinning off much of its residential operations to Apollo Management, which is launching Brightspeed, and Stonepeak buying Astound Broadband for over $8 billion in late 2020. ImOn Communications also recently announced a sale to Goldman Sachs Asset Management. There are many more examples of private investment in broadband networks.
WOW! may be an attractive asset, given its expansion plans with greenfield fiber projects. The company recently announced two projects in Florida.
“Our Greenfield initiative is very important to the growth and success of WOW! which makes this second service area announcement so exciting,” said Teresa Elder, CEO of WOW!. in a press release announcing the second greenfield expansion in Orange County, Florida.
Additional greenfield market announcements are expected, according to the company.
WOW! has already been active with selling assets as well. Last year the company divested its systems in Ohio, Illinois, Indiana and Maryland for $1.8 billion. At the time of sale, those systems had about 196,000 Internet subscribers, 61,000 video customers and 35,000 telephony subscribers.
WOW! has so far declined to comment on the speculation, according to Bloomberg.