Altice USA buys Morris Broadband in $310 million deal

Altice USA has agreed to acquire North Carolina-based Morris Broadband, which serves about 36,500 customers in the western part of the state. The transaction values Morris at $310 million.

Altice already operates its Suddenlink business in North Carolina and this will expand the company’s footprint in the state, which is Altice’s sixth-largest market out of the 21 states in which it operates.

Morris’ network passed about 89,000 homes in North Carolina as of December, Altice USA said, and it has a broadband penetration rate of about 35%.

Dexter Goei, Altice USA’s CEO, said that Morris is fast-growing and  “a perfect fit for Altice as we are accelerating our network expansion with increased investment in edge outs, upgrades of underdeveloped systems and [fiber-to-the-home] deployment to drive customer, revenue and cash flow growth. We look forward to providing our high-quality broadband, video, mobile, and news offerings to thousands of additional homes and businesses, with a great opportunity to further penetrate Morris’ existing homes passed and by expanding more into adjacent areas.”

Goei has told CNBC that the company would be seeking smaller merger and acquisition opportunities if larger ones were not available. “The best use of our capital always is M&A, but we have to find things that are interesting to buy,” he said.

Altice recently reported what its Goei called “spectacular results” that included revenue growth and record broadband customer gains. The company’s overall revenues were up 2.5% in the fourth quarter and its broadband revenues grew 14% compared to the same period in 2019.

Altice plans to finance the deal out of existing available funds; the transaction is expected to close in the second quarter.

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