It looks like the ‘exploration’ of a possible Bresnan sale that I wrote about back in April appears to be coming to fruition, albeit quietly.
Providence Equity Partners Inc. is seeking to sell broadband provider Bresnan Communications for more than $1 billion including debt, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.
The private-equity firm, based in Providence, Rhode Island, hired Credit Suisse Group AG and UBS AG to sell Bresnan, which has attracted interest from buyout funds and strategic buyers, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public. Bids are due in two weeks, one of the people said.
Private-equity firms are selling holdings after returning less money to clients last year than at any time since at least 2000. Providence took cable company Kabel Deutschland Holding AG public in March, raising 759 million euros ($929 million) in Germany’s biggest initial stock sale since 2007.
Bresnan, based in Purchase, New York, provides broadband- communication services in Montana, Wyoming, Colorado and Utah and is 30 percent-owned by Comcast Corp. Bresnan would give its new owner a slice of the burgeoning market for high-speed Internet services, whose revenue is expected to rise to $210 billion globally in 2014 from $164 billion in 2009, according to ABI Research in Oyster Bay, New York.
Founder Bill Bresnan, who repurchased the company in 2003 for $525 million with backing from Providence, died last year. Bresnan has increased revenue at a 15 percent annual growth rate and cash flow at a 20 percent pace since Providence took over, according to one of the people.
Julie Fisher, a Providence spokeswoman, didn’t return a phone call seeking comment. Doug Morris, a UBS spokesman, declined to comment, as did Duncan King, a Credit Suisse spokesman, and D’Arcy Rudnay, a Comcast spokeswoman.
It will be interesting to follow this as it develops, especially what Comcast might consider doing as they already own just shy of a third of Bresnan. Could GJ be “Comcastic” in the future? We’ll see.
In the meantime, check out this recent story from the Durango Herald if you want a sample of how crazy the business of television can be. Hopefully the folks in Albuquerque will either acquiesce to Denver market stations in that section of their DMA, or will just go away.