Abry Partners to acquire broadband ISP RCN for $1.2 billion

Private equity firm, Abry Partners that focuses in investing in media and information service companies, agreed late last week to acquire the US-based broadband services provider RCN Corporation in a deal valued at $1.2 billion.

Virginia-based RCN, founded in 1997, which lost more $1 billion in the late 1990s.  went bankrupt in May 2004 after failing to broaden its customer base customers to pay debts it had amassed building its network.

 It emerged from bankruptcy protection in December 2004, is the first provider of triple-play broadband services in the US.

It currently provides all-digital "triple play" Internet, voice and digital TV services to approximately 430,000 residential and small-medium business customers in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania, New York City, Boston and Chicago.

Boston, Massachusetts-based Abry Partners, which has completed over $21 billion in investments in over 500 media and communications companies since 1989 has agreed to acquire RCN for about $570 million in cash, plus assuming RCN's $730 million debt.

Abry Partners is paying $15 a share in cash, a 22 per cent premium to RCN's closing price on 4 February and a 43 per cent premium over RCN's average closing share price over the past 30 days.