RealTime IT News

Comcast Buy Builds Base

The nation's largest cable and broadband company is expanding its customer base by acquisition.

Comcast today said it will buy 70 percent of Susquehanna Pfaltzgraff Communications (SusCom) that it doesn't already own for $540 million cash.

The Philadelphia-based company plans to offer high-speed data, video-on-demand and Voice over IP to SusCom's 225,000 basic cable subscribers in Pennsylvania, New York, Maine and Mississippi. Comcast currently has 21.4 million cable customers and 7.7 million broadband subscribers.

"These cable systems have been well run and are very complementary to Comcast's service areas," Brian L. Roberts, Comcast Chairman and CEO, said in a statement. "We look forward to introducing Comcast's advanced suite of broadband services in these markets soon."

The deal requires regulatory approval and is expected to close in the first half of 2006.

The sale of York, Penn.-based SusCom by its privately held parent is not a surprise. Earlier this year, Susquehanna Pfaltzgraff Co. hired UBS Investment Bank to help explore potential deals citing "changes in corporate and family circumstances."

Company officials said customers will benefit from being part of Comcast's network.

"Technological innovation is occurring rapidly in the cable and telecommunications industries, providing the ability for large companies like Comcast to cost-effectively deliver more traditional cable channels, as well as advanced services like Video on Demand and Voice over Internet Protocol telephony," William H. Simpson, president and CEO of Susquehanna Pfaltzgraff, said in a statement.

Separately today Susquehanna Pfaltzgraff Co. also agreed to sell Susquehanna Radio's operations to a partnership led by Cumulus Media.