Stonepeak in Talks to Buy TPG’s Astound for $8 Billion

Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners is nearing a deal to buy cable company Astound fromTPG for $8.1 billion, including debt, according to people familiar with the matter.

TPG is selling the company after it built it up through a series of acquisitions. It bought RCN and Grande from private equity firm ABRY Partners in deals worth $1.6 billion and $650 million in 2016. The following year it bought Wave Broadband in a $2.37 billion deal from Oakhill Capital Partners, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Internet broadband providers like Astound have done well during the Covid-19 pandemic due to the shift of remote work and the increased time people are spending at home.

Though U.S. consumers are shedding pay-TV bundles, high-speed internet service is more prized than ever. That’s led cable companies to increasingly focus on that side of the business — especially during the pandemic.Comcast Corp., the market leader,added 633,000 internet subscribers last quarter, a 67% jump. Charter Communications Inc., the second-largest cable company,added 537,000 during the period, a gain of 41%.

An $8 billion deal would value Astound at almost $8,000 per broadband subscriber, Bloomberg Intelligenceestimated in September. That would put it in the same range as Charter.

StonePeak is partway through raising a $10 billion fourth fund, and had amassed $6.2 billion for a first close in June, Bloomberg reported at the time. Trent Vichie, a co-founder of Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners, is exiting the firm, Bloomberg Newsreported last month.

Vichie and Mike Dorrell founded Stonepeak in 2011 after previously heading Blackstone Group Inc.’s infrastructure business and working together at Macquarie Group Ltd.

— With assistance by Gillian Tan, and Nick Turner

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