Cable One Snaps Up Remaining Stake in Hargray

Latest acquisition will give the cable MSO access to 125,000 customers served by traditional coax and FTTH facilities.

  • Cable ONE

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. & CHICAGO-- Cable One is continuing its M&A journey, acquiring the remaining interests in cable and FTTH provider Hargray.

This is just one of several acquisitions the cable MSO has made. Cable One, which has rebranded itself as rebranded as Sparklight, also acquired a 45 percent stake in Mega Broadband Investments Holdings (MBI). Earlier, Cable One acquired three other regional providers: ValueNet Fiber of Emporia, Kansas in 2020; Fidelity Communications in 2019; and Clearwave Communications in 2018. It has also made investments in two fixed wireless ISPs – Wisper Internet and NextLink.

The cable MSO was already a currently a minority investor in Hargray Communications. TPO led the Hargray investment in 2017 and has held a majority stake in the Company and invested in its growth since that time.

Founded in the Lowcountry region of South Carolina, Hargray is a broadband communications provider to small cities and large towns throughout South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, and northern Florida. The company has invested significantly to construct fiber broadband networks and to acquire and upgrade smaller providers to create a high-growth broadband communications company that serves 125,000 customers.

“TPO’s growth-oriented strategic thinking and long-term perspective have proven invaluable over the last four years,” Michael Gottdenker, Hargray Chairman and CEO, said. “From the time we first met, it was clear that their commitment to partnership and collaboration extended well beyond their capital investment. Their insights and perspectives have been critical in helping us realize Hargray’s potential. We were not looking to sell, but one of our strategic partners presented us with an attractive opportunity. We worked with TPO to refine our views, and they and our other investors supported this transaction. I am extremely grateful for the tremendous and unwavering support from TPO as well as Stephens Capital Partners, Redwood Capital Investments, and WaveDivision Capital. Since last year when Cable One contributed its Anniston, Alabama system in exchange for a minority interest in Hargray, it has become even more apparent that both companies have decidedly complementary mindsets, cultures, and core values, which I am confident will enable our colleagues, customers, and communities to continue to thrive with Cable One as our sole owner.”

“Our acquisition of Hargray reflects a continuation of our commitment to provide rural America with reliable high-speed internet service,” said Julie Laulis, President and CEO of Cable One. “It has been a pleasure to work with Hargray’s investor group led by TPO. Hargray’s regional focus, local values, and ongoing investment in technological advancements and customer care are strikingly like our own. We are excited to welcome our new Hargray colleagues as we work together to achieve future growth and continue to build upon Hargray’s commitment to customer delight.”

Since the beginning of TPO’s investment in 2017, Hargray has accelerated a multi-pronged investment strategy to enhance its network and product offerings to be the highest quality broadband provider in each of its markets. As a result, over the past four years Hargray has nearly doubled its customer base, including delivering enhanced broadband service to underserved markets, and achieved several other critical milestones:

  • Strategic separation into two distinct business units, one focused on Hargray’s incumbent markets and one on Hargray’s overbuild markets, to drive increased focus and decentralization
  • Continued expansion within its current footprint and entry into two new states (Alabama and Florida) through a combination of eight acquisitions and ongoing organic growth investment
  • Over $300 million in network investment to expand into new markets, provide nearly ubiquitous gigabit service across its footprint, and deliver substantial product upgrades

Customers will continue to receive their existing services, but over time can expect Cable One to bring even more advanced services to residents and businesses in Hargray’s communities. Cable One’s purpose is to provide communities the connectivity that enriches their world, and like Hargray focuses on small cities and large towns led by locally based market teams deeply rooted in the communities they serve.

The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2021.


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