Hargray to acquire Charter Communications' Beaufort cable system

gmartin@islandpacket.comApril 5, 2012 

Hilton Head Island-based Hargray Communications announced Thursday it will acquire Charter Communications' cable system in Beaufort.

The sale will affect all of Charter's customers in Beaufort -- about 7,000 in total -- and is expected to be completed by June 30.

Once the deal is closed, a transition period of four to six months is expected, during which Hargray representatives will contact Charter customers individually to convert their accounts.

"This is a good acquisition for us that enables us to expand our footprint in Beaufort County," said Andrew Rein, Hargray's vice president of sales and marketing.

Last month, Hargray also acquired two local cable systems previously served by Shenandoah Telecommunications.

The acquisition marks the culmination of what Rein called "at least a couple months" of negotiations with Missouri-based Charter, the fourth-largest cable provider in the country.

As part of the arrangement, Hargray will acquire Charter's franchise agreement to provide service in the city of Beaufort -- issued and regulated by the Secretary of State's office -- which Rein said his company "wouldn't have any issues" securing.

The acquisition marks Hargray's most expansive foray into northern Beaufort County to date, and Rein said the company was "very excited" to offer new services to local businesses.

"This acquisition allows us to provide them with high-speed internet, advanced communications and data services, and business-grade IP voice services," he said.

The acquisition also affects Charter's residential customers, who can expect several new options, including more high-definition channels and bundling of telephone, television and Internet services, Rein said.

RBC Capital Markets acted as exclusive mergers and acquisitions advisor to Charter for the acquisition.

Charter customers can go to www.hargray.com/Charter for updates on the transaction.

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