CINCINNATI — Cincinnati Bell announced Monday in a press release on the company's website that it will be acquired by Toronto-based Brookfield Infrastructure in a $2.6 billion deal.
According to the press release, Cincinnati Bell is responsible for operating in more than 1.3 million homes throughout their coverage network.
The deal is currently set to close by the end of 2020, according to the press release.
"After thoroughly reviewing a range of strategic alternatives and possible business opportunities for maximizing value, the Board determined this transaction was in the best interest of the company, its shareholders and its customers," said Lynn Wentworth, chairperson of the Cincinnati Bell Board of Directors, in a press release.
The press release goes on to say that, prior to the agreed acquisition, Cincinnati Bell has worked to future-proof its network through fiber broadband upgrades throughout the city. In light of 5G technology, the company said it has worked to change its network to newer fiber-based systems.
"Thus far, CBB has future-proofed 50 percent of its network, representing more than 17,000 miles of dense metro and last-mile fiber and has plans to further upgrade its network over the next few years," the press release reads.
Over the last several years, Cincinnati Bell has worked closely with City of Cincinnati officials on several smart city initiatives as well, including providing free public WiFi in designated spaces like Downtown, along the streetcar routes and at Sawyer Point Park. WCPO has reached out to the City of Cincinnati for clarification on how this merger could affect these initiatives and contracts moving forward, but city director of communications Casey Weldon declined to comment, citing that it is too early in the process to determine whether any city contracts with Cincinnati Bell may be impacted.
WCPO reached out to Cincinnati Bell on whether this acquisition and merger would affect local jobs and those employed by the company in Cincinnati.
"The transaction announcement is all that has happened so far. Accordingly, our operations will continue to function business-as-usual. Employees are focused on daily responsibilities and meeting our customers’ needs," Josh Pichler, Cincinnati Bell's senior manager of communications and media, responded in a statement.