A substantial chunk of infrastructure will be changing private equity hands in the next couple of quarters. TPG Capital has announced plans to acquire two regional alternative broadband MSO operators from ABRY Partners.
TPG will be buying RCN for the sum of $1.6B and Grande Communications for $650M, while Patriot Media will continue to manage both assets. RCN serves both consumers and businesses along the east coast markets of Boston, New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington DC as well as out in Chicago, while Grande Communications does the same sort of thing in the Texas markets of Austin, San Antonio, and Dallas. TPG will be combining the two companies under one umbrella to create a top-10 cable operator.
As to what else TPG may be up to here beyond buying RCN and Grande, there are two other interesting things to note. The first is that Google Capital is apparently investing alongside TPG, and the second is that there was also speculation over the weekend that TPG might be about to make some sort of move into wireless. Another data point could be Google's recent interest in last mile wireless instead of fiber, for which a partner or two with a ready-made network and a willingness to take on the powers that be might come in handy. Hmmm....
The RCN and Grande transaction is expected to close in Q1/2017.