Valuation of Airthread Connections

5611 words 23 pages
4263
REV: APRIL 27, 2012

ERIK STAFFORD
JOEL L. HEILPRIN

Valuation of AirThread Connections
In early December 2007, Robert Zimmerman, senior vice president of business development for
American Cable Communications (ACC), was in his office sifting through a number of investment banking proposals related to potential acquisition targets when he paused to consider the recent presentation made by Rubinstein & Ross (R&R).
Rubinstein & Ross was a boutique investment bank with a strong reputation for doing deals in the media and telecommunications sector. During that meeting, Elliot Bianco pitched the idea of
American Cable buying out AirThread Connections, a large regional cellular provider. The basic premise of the AirThread
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American Cable’s Business Development Group
American Cable’s business development group has been tasked with the primary goal of increasing the company’s customer base as a means to fuel both top line growth and network utilization. From 1999 through 2005, ACC’s business development group spearheaded more than
$15.0 billion of acquisitions and, as a result, the company believed it had developed a strong corporate finance team with significant acumen in identifying, valuing, structuring, and executing corporate control transactions. In addition, the company also believed that its experience as an acquirer had allowed it to develop unique operational know-how in the area of merger integration.
Furthermore, the company believed that its core competency as an acquirer would continue to play a fundamental role in its future success. With the rapidly increasing costs of acquiring new customers and the high penetration rates in video and high speed internet, the group surmised that the only way to achieve meaningful customer growth would be through additional acquisitions.
American Cable’s acquisition process began with the screening of potential communications service providers that operate in territories adjacent to, or within, the firm’s existing regions. Next, a basic investment thesis was developed that outlined the acquisition benefits in terms of the strategic fit of a target company’s assets and

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