Midco to Buy WOW System, Enter Kansas

Lawrence-based system has traded hands multiple times in recent years
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Marking its entry into the Kansas market, Midco said it has inked a deal to acquire WideOpenWest’s system in Lawrence, Kan., that serves more than 30,000 customers and spans the counties of Douglas, Leavenworth and Wyandotte.

Financial terms were not disclosed, but WOW’s Lawrence system passes about 67,000 homes and businesses, and Midco will also acquire WOW! Channel 6, Lawrence’s local TV broadcaster, they said.

For Midco, the deal will enable it to expand beyond the 350,000 customers it serves in parts of Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin. Midco noted that about 70 WOW employees who will be joining its company, which employs roughly 1,500 people.

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The Lawrence system has changed hands multiple times in recent years. Knology nabbed it in 2010 when it acquired what was then known as Sunflower Broadband for $165 million.  WOW acquired Knology, including the former Sunflower Broadband system, in 2012 for $1.5 billion

"We could sense the pride in the local community the first time our team set foot in Lawrence. We experience the same positive environment in the towns we serve further north, so this acquisition just feels like the right fit culturally," Pat McAdaragh, president & CEO of Midco, said in a statement.

"At WOW!, we're familiar with the quality operation Midco runs. I'm confident that the people, businesses and institutions in the Lawrence area will be pleased with Midco's customer care philosophy, its integrity and its commitment to innovation," added WOW CEO Steven Cochran.

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They said the deal is expected to close “within the next few months.”

Midco's financial advisor for the acquisition is Wells Fargo Securities, LLC, and its legal advisor is Stinson Leonard Street, while Kirkland & Ellis LLP and SunTrust 

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