Cox to buy fiber infrastructure provider

Cox Communications is beefing up its fiber-based cable TV and internet offerings for business customers.

Atlanta-based Cox Communications on Tuesday announced that it has agreed to acquire Segra, based in Charlotte, North Carolina. The purchase price is about $3 billion, according to media reports. A Cox Communications spokesman declined to confirm the price.

The deal is expected to close later this year, pending regulatory approvals, the spokesman said. About 1,000 Segra employees will join Cox Communications.

Cox Communications will acquire only Segra’s commercial services division and not its residential division. Cox Communications will integrate Segra into Cox Business, its subsidiary that provides data, video and voice services to about 355,000 small and regional businesses.

Segra’s commercial services business operates a fiber network in nine states in the Southeast and mid-Atlantic U.S.

“We believe that the demand for broadband infrastructure will continue to grow, making fiber an attractive area for long-term investment,” Cox Communications CEO Pat Esser said in the release.

Cox Communications has made similar acquisitions and investments in the past decade, including StackPath in Dallas last year; EasyTel in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 2013; and InSite Wireless in Alexandria, Virginia, in 2012.

Cox Communications’ owner, Cox Enterprises, also owns The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Cox Communications is the third-largest provider of cable TV and Internet services in the U.S. Its residential markets in Georgia include Macon and Warner Robins.

Following the acquistion, Segra’s existing management team will continue to lead the Segra enterprise and carrier organization. The Segra brand will be retained and will operate as a stand-alone business within Cox.