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Optical/IP Networks

ATN International to buy Sacred Wind, but stays mum on possible sale

ATN International this week announced plans to acquire Sacred Wind Enterprises, which it said is the largest privately owned broadband company in New Mexico, for roughly $25 million in cash and $32 million in debt.

However, ATN declined to comment on a report that it hired Goldman Sachs to help it explore a potential sale of the company. That report, from TMT Finance and cited by several other outlets, helped briefly boost ATN's shares this week.

ATN is in part investing in fiber networks. (Source: Pixabay)
ATN is in part investing in fiber networks.
(Source: Pixabay)

Nonetheless, some financial analysts argued that ATN remains relatively stable financially. "Clearly, given the nature of ATN as a conglomerate of many digital infrastructure businesses, this could mean a variety of things if true, but broadly we feel the company is comfortable pursuing its investment objectives under the current capital structure," wrote the financial analysts at Raymond James in a note to investors following the release of ATN's second quarter results.

Broadly, the analysts argued that they're encouraged by ATN's ongoing efforts as well as its future opportunities, particularly in light of billions of dollars in US government subsidies headed into many of the rural areas where ATN operates.

Ongoing investments

As noted by TeleGeography, ATN's business across the US spans brands including Alaska Communications, Commnet, Choice Wireless and Choice NTUA Wireless. Internationally the company operates networks in Guyana, Bermuda, the US Virgin Islands and elsewhere.

In its second quarter, ATN reported revenues of $179.5 million, a 45% increase from what it reported a year ago.

Further, ATN reiterated its financial outlook for the next two years.

ATN is engaging in an investment project it calls "glass and steel." The Raymond James analysts said that expansion strategy involves building new fiber networks and cell towers while pivoting away from ATN's legacy wireless wholesale business. According to ATN, it has so far added 65,200 new broadband subscribers, 62,800 new mobile subscribers, and 6,370 new route miles of fiber since 2020 via the project.

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Mike Dano, Editorial Director, 5G & Mobile Strategies, Light Reading | @mikeddano

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