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KKR Nearing Deal to Buy Stake in Fiber Company MetroNet

KKR & Co. is nearing a deal to acquire a minority stake in MetroNet that values the provider of fiber-optic internet, phone and television services at almost $3 billion including debt, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

A transaction could be announced as soon as this week, the people said. Oak Hill Capital, a private equity firm, will invest additional capital into the company, the people said.

KKR and Oak Hill representatives declined to comment. A spokesperson for Evansville, Indiana-based MetroNet didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Founded in 2005 with one fiber-optic network in Greencastle, Indiana, MetroNet operates in 80 communities in Indiana, Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Florida and Ohio. MetroNet last year acquired Jaguar Communications, a fiber-optic provider in Minnesota.

U.S. telecommunications infrastructure appeals to private equity investors seeking both stable returns and continued growth. Oak Hill in January said it invested in NetSpeed LLC, a fiber operator doing business in Pennsylvania and Connecticut. GTCR, another private equity firm, last week said it invested in Point Broadband, a provide of fiber and high-speed data services to markets east of the Mississippi River.

Activity extends beyond the U.S. Earlier this month, KKR and DTCP announced the launch of Open Dutch Fiber, a jointly owned platform to deploy fiber broadband in the Netherlands.

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