RCN, Grande, Wave to Create Sixth-Largest Cable Operator

Private equity firm TPG acquired RCN Telecom Services and Grande Communications in January, and now is acquiring Wave Broadband.

Edward Gately, Senior News Editor

May 22, 2017

3 Min Read
RCN, Grande, Wave to Create Sixth-Largest Cable Operator

RCN Telecom Services, Grande Communications and Wave Broadband are combining to create the nation’s sixth-largest cable operator.

The $2.36 billion purchase of Wave is backed by private equity firm TPG, which officially acquired RCN and Grande in January. Wave is a West Coast cable and internet provider. RCN covers 17,000 miles with more than 925,000 residential and business customers, delivering nearly 1.7 million data, voice and video services.

398072587d3b4398942a7ef0553279a9.jpgJim Holanda, CEO of RCN and Grande, tells Channel Partners the combination will benefit its partners, as the company will “now have a larger footprint against which they can sell our product set.” Partners will be able to take advantage of similar promotions and compensation programs between the three companies, he said.

“The different type of customer we would be able to serve are those with offices on the West Coast, East Coast or the middle of the country,” he said. “With this merger, the combined company will serve seven of the top 10 markets in the United States. This uniquely positions us to be a single source provider for this key customer segment. Once we review all products and services, we will look to identify opportunities to roll out new products. For example, as a result of the RCN/Grande partnership, Grande is now deploying the META hosted voice platform, which will offer the entire suite of services.”

The transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2017 and is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals.

Bringing together RCN and Grande created a regional market leader in next-generation, high-speed data services for residential and business customers, with a presence spanning the East Coast, Chicago and Texas, according to RCN. Wave is a regional broadband fiber company offering a suite of high-speed data, video and voice services to residential and business customers in the Northwest.

“Our channel partners rely on us to provide a network against which they can serve the needs of their end customers,” Holanda said. “Fortunately, in our current environment, we are used to providing services in an organization that is led by individual market leadership.  With the addition of Wave to our company, we will be able to provide new areas (zip codes) that the channel partner can request quotes from. The main point of contact does not change. We should note this merger is not expected to close until December and it would be several months afterwards before we have truly integrated all companies. We will evaluate all products and programs, as well as the best attributes of each program, to align our offerings and provide the best channel partner program to the market.”

e3d5a87758624b6d8b4e99e6d532e013.jpg“We are excited that our new partners in TPG and RCN recognize the value of what we have created at Wave, and share our passion for creating happy customers — we are eager to enter our next era of growth alongside them,” said Steve Weed, Wave’s founder and CEO. “Over the last several years we have accelerated our growth substantially by expanding from our heritage of residential broadband services into enterprise grade fiber.”

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About the Author(s)

Edward Gately

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

As news editor, Edward Gately covers cybersecurity, new channel programs and program changes, M&A and other IT channel trends. Prior to Informa, he spent 26 years as a newspaper journalist in Texas, Louisiana and Arizona.

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