(Bloomberg) -- Morgan Stanley’s infrastructure investment arm is in talks to acquire WideOpenWest Inc., a provider of broadband and other cable services, according to people with knowledge of the matter. The stock rose as much as 18%.
Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners is in exclusive talks with WideOpenWest, which does business as Wow!, said one of the people, all of whom requested anonymity discussing confidential information. A transaction hasn’t been finalized, and it’s possible talks end without a deal, the people added.
Based in Englewood, Colorado, WideOpenWest rose 12% to $20.80 at 10:15 a.m. in New York trading Monday, giving the company a market value of about $1.8 billion. The stock has gained about 17% since Bloomberg News reported in April that it was exploring a sale. The company also has about $758 million in debt.
The private equity firm Crestview Partners is its largest shareholder, with a 36% stake, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Representatives for Morgan Stanley, Crestview and WideOpenWest declined to comment.
WideOpenWest says its network spans states including Georgia, Alabama, Michigan, Florida, Tennessee and South Carolina. Crestview has been an investor since 2015, when it acquired a stake from Avista Capital Partners and others.
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Morgan Stanley’s infrastructure unit has been active. In October, it purchased clinical-services provider SpecialtyCare. It also co-owned fiber operator Lightpath alongside Altice USA Inc.
(Updates trading in first and third paragraphs. An earlier version of this report corrected its trading gain since April in the third paragraph.)
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