Stonepeak to buy U.S. cable operator and broadband platform Astound for $8.1 billion

(Reuters) - Private equity firm Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners said on Sunday it would buy Astound Broadband, owner of a network of regional cable TV and internet providers, for $8.1 billion.

Stonepeak will buy Astound from TPG Capital and Patriot Media Management, it said in a statement.

The Wall Street Journal first reported the confirmation of the deal, saying the value includes $4.5 billion of debt.

Astound’s network includes RCN, Grande Communications Networks LLC and Wave Broadband. Its businesses serve parts of California, Chicago, Massachusetts, New York City, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas and Washington.

The sale comes as cable operators have seen their fortunes buoyed by consumers requiring more internet bandwidth, as they stay home to work and be entertained during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Astound is the premier operator of critical broadband infrastructure in the United States with a long history of delivering market leading customer service and network performance to communities across the country,” Brian McMullen, a partner at Stonepeak, said.

In August, Reuters had exclusively reported that TPG was exploring the sale of Astound for over $8 billion, including debt.

BofA Securities and Lazard acted as financial advisers to Stonepeak.

Reporting by Shubham Kalia in Bengaluru; Editing by Richard Chang