GTCR said July 30 that it agreed to buy the broadband assets of Eagle Communications. Financial terms weren’t announced. Eagle Communications, of Hays, Kansas, is a broadband services and media company that operates radio stations in Kansas, Nebraska and Missouri, as well as cable TV systems in Kansas, Nebraska and Colorado.
GTCR and Mega Broadband Investments Announce Acquisition of the Broadband Assets of Eagle Communications
MBI Continues to Build Its Platform in Rural Markets
CHICAGO, IL – July 30, 2019 – GTCR, a leading private equity firm, announced today that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the broadband assets of Eagle Communications (“Eagle”). Founded in 1948, and headquartered in Hays, Kansas, Eagle serves customers across Kansas, Nebraska and Colorado. Aside from the transferring broadband assets, Eagle also owns and operates a collection of radio stations. The acquisition will be completed through GTCR’s previously established management partnership with Mega Broadband Investments (“MBI”) and comes less than a year after MBI’s initial platform investment in Northland Communications (“Northland”).
The add-on acquisition of Eagle in partnership with a two-time GTCR CEO is another example of the GTCR Leaders Strategy™ at work. GTCR first partnered with Mr. Spencer in 2012 to form Rural Broadband Investments (“RBI”).
In October 2017, GTCR established MBI – a second management start-up with Mr. Spencer – to focus on acquiring rural broadband assets as part of a strategy to capitalize on the same trends that made RBI successful. The acquisition of Eagle follows the previously completed platform acquisition of Northland in October 2018.
“The acquisition of Eagle represents an excellent fit with the existing MBI footprint and strategy,” said Mr. Spencer, CEO of MBI. “Eagle and its employees have built a tremendous reputation as a leader in their local markets and we are excited to bring this talented group into MBI. Further, we plan to build upon Eagle’s strong reputation by investing millions of incremental dollars into network upgrades over the coming year to be able to rollout enhanced high-speed data services to both our residential and commercial customers.”
“Eagle’s broadband business has been a tremendous asset for our communities as well as its employee-owners,” said Gary Shorman, President & CEO of Eagle Communications. “Our success has been built on great products and superior customer service. I am excited see the organization continue to prosper under GTCR’s ownership and the new leadership team. Our communities will continue to reap the benefits of the planned upgrades combined with Eagle’s service excellence. Eagle will continue to be your local broadband and video provider and I am excited to continue partnering with the business through our radio stations.”
GTCR and MBI’s investment in Eagle will be funded from GTCR Fund XII, a private equity fund raised in 2017 with $5.25 billion of limited partner capital commitments. Kirkland & Ellis LLP provided legal counsel and PricewaterhouseCoopers served as accounting advisor to GTCR and MBI.
Founded in 1980, GTCR is a leading private equity firm focused on investing in growth companies in the Growth Business Services, Technology, Media & Telecommunications, Healthcare and Financial Services & Technology industries. The Chicago-based firm pioneered The Leaders Strategy™ – finding and partnering with management leaders in core domains to identify, acquire and build market-leading companies through transformational acquisitions and organic growth. Since its inception, GTCR has invested more than $15 billion in over 200 companies. For more information, please visit www.gtcr.com.
About Mega Broadband Investments
Mega Broadband Investments was formed in October 2017 as a partnership between Phil Spencer and GTCR. Mega Broadband Investments’ mission is to build a leading broadband provider delivering high speed data, video and voice services to residential and commercial customers. For more information, please contact (312) 953-3305.
About Northland Communications
Northland Communications is a leading provider of communications services. Northland owns and operates smaller-market cable systems in Alabama, California, Georgia, Idaho, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Washington. Headquartered in Seattle, Washington, Northland offers high-speed Internet, digital and high definition television and voice services to individuals and businesses. For more information, please visit www.yournorthland.com.
About Eagle Communications
Eagle Communications, Inc. is a Kansas-based Broadband Services and Media Company. The company operates radio stations in Kansas, Nebraska and Missouri as well as cable TV systems in Kansas, Nebraska and Colorado. The company also offers e-business solutions, web hosting, telephone service, high-speed Internet and wireless Internet in most service areas. For more information, log on to http://www.eaglecom.net.