Groton Utilities to sell cable TV business
GROTON, Nov 19, 2012 (The Day - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
The city announced today that it plans to sell its cable television and Internet service company to a private investment management firm.
Thames Valley Communications is being sold for $150,000 to CTP Investors. TVC was launched by the city in 2004 as a subsidiary of Groton Utilities. As the state's first municipally owned cable provider, it was intended to give residents another choice in the television and Internet market.
The company lost $2.5 million in the most recent fiscal year, according to Paul Yatcko, the director of Groton Utilities. He said technological advances in the industry and increasing competition were factors that hindered TVC's viability and growth. The company competes with Comcast and several satellite television providers.
Mayor Marian K. Galbraith said customers of TVC will not experience any immediate change in service. The City Council will consider the sale at a meeting tonight and a public information meeting on the sale has been scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday at the city's municipal building.
Yatcko said the city hired an investment advisor who searched for companies that were interested in acquiring TVC. The CTP Investors website says the company acquires businesses and "through active management and capital investment, it can substantially grow service offerings and business revenues over time."
"There are opportunities for new products and services that frankly the city cannot afford to invest in," Yatcko said. "Their intent is to grow this business, which is why we found this transaction attractive."
Yatcko declined to say how many customers pay for TVC service. Previously the company planned to service more than 35,000 homes in Groton, Ledyard, Stonington, North Stonington and Voluntown.
Groton Utilities also offers electric and water services. It has 12,600 electric customers.
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