Evergreen Pacific Partners News


March 25, 2005

Evergreen Pacific Partners Invests $13.0 Million in Arizona-Based Western Broadband LLC

Seasoned cable industry executive recruited to lead company

March 25, 2005
-- Evergreen Pacific Partners (EPP), a $275 million buyout fund, announced today it has completed a $13.0 million investment in Western Broadband LLC. This marks EPP’s first investment from the firm’s current fund, which targets traditional buyouts, management led buyouts, and growth equity investments involving private, traditional, middle-market companies in the Western United States and Canada. EPP was co-founded by Timothy Bernardez, T. J. McGill, and Michael Nibarger. Debt financing for the acquisition was provided by CIT Group Inc’s Communications Media and Entertainment Finance Group, a leading provider of senior secured debt to the cable television industry.

Western Broadband LLC (WBB) was formed by EPP to acquire the cable assets of Sun Lakes, Arizona-based Robson Communities, a group of affiliated companies that are the largest private developer of active adult retirement communities in Arizona. WBB's cable plant passes approximately 15,000 homes outside Phoenix and Tucson.

"EPP's investment in Western Broadband is consistent with our strategic approach," said T. J. McGill, one of three managing partners at EPP. "Our filters for investments are simple: geography, size, and industry. As a middle market cable operator in Arizona, Western Broadband fits squarely into our disciplined strategy. We look forward to growing WBB's assets and, over time, creating valuable services for its customers."

EPP will help guide Western Broadband to deliver state-of-the-art services, including high-speed modems, high definition TV, and digital services to its subscribers. EPP has recruited Neal Schnog, a seasoned cable industry executive to lead WBB.

Schnog is a 20-year veteran of the cable television industry. He has owned, operated and managed over 25 cable systems and was most recently founder and CEO of an Oregon-based cable group that acquired 20,000 customers through five transactions. Schnog is the past Vice-Chairman of the American Cable Association, has twice testified before Congress on the ACA's behalf and continues to serve on the ACA Board of Directors.

"It is a tremendous opportunity to partner with Evergreen Pacific Partners to build an even stronger cable company in Arizona," said Neal Schnog, CEO of Western Broadband LLC. "Western Broadband and Evergreen have similar values and goals - we want to build a bigger and stronger company, and deliver great service and outstanding products."

"Now that we have purchased Western Broadband, EPP is actively looking for similar cable systems and other mid-sized companies to acquire in Arizona and throughout Western North America," said Tim Bernardez, a managing partner at EPP.

Investors of Evergreen Pacific Partners include foundations, endowments, corporate pension funds, public pension funds, fund of funds, and insurance companies, such as West AM, the Public School Employee Retirement System of Pennsylvania, The Duke Endowment, and Mass Mutual. Additionally, 25 predominately Pacific Northwest-based CEO's and executives, who mostly overlap EPP's target industries, are investors in the fund.

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