RCN Shares Skyrocket on ABRY Buyout News

Cable operator RCN Corp. (RCNI) has agreed to a $1.2 billion buyout by investment fund ABRY Partners.

The price tag includes ABRY’s assumption of about $630 million of RCN’s debt.

The news sent RCN’s stock soaring. By 1:26 p.m. Eastern, the company’s shares had jumped 23.16 percent to $15.10.

ABRY specializes in media and telecom deals; it will pay RCN stockholders $15 per share in cash, a 22 percent premium over Thursday’s closing price.

The transaction is slated to close in the second half of the year after the two parties secure all the needed regulatory approvals. However, RCN is allowed to solicit other buyout proposals through April 14.

Equity financing for the deal is being provided by ABRY and debt financing by SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, Inc., GE Capital, Société Générale and some of their affiliates.

The announcement comes after RCN last summer tried to buy FiberNet from Zayo Group but then bowed out. And thanks to its pending acquisition, RCN will not hold its previously scheduled fourth-quarter 2009 earnings conference call. That was scheduled for March 9.

RCN also owns RCN Metro, a subsidiary that provides fiber-based broadband services to enterprises.


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