May 25 (Reuters) - Shares of WideOpenWest Inc fell about 6 percent in their New York debut on Thursday, a day after the sponsor-backed cable company’s offering was priced below expectations.
The Englewood, Colorado-based company raised about $310 million in its initial public offering after 18.24 million shares were priced at $17 each.
WideOpenWest had earlier expected to sell 19.05 million shares for $20-$22 per share.
The company’s stock rose as much as $17.15 in early trading on Thursday, giving it a market valuation of $1.48 billion.
WideOpenWest is the first telecom company to go public this year, according to Renaissance Capital, a manager of IPO-focused exchange traded funds.
U.S. IPO activity has been on the rise in 2017. A pick up in oil prices, an improving economy and hopes of corporate tax cuts have encouraged companies across business sectors to enter the stock market.
Backed by private equity firms Avista Capital Partners and Crestview Funds, WideOpenWest calls itself the sixth-largest U.S. cable operator.
The company mainly caters to the southeastern and midwestern regions, providing high-speed data, cable television and internet telephony services across 3 million homes and businesses.
WideOpenWest faces stiff competition from giants such as Comcast Corp and Charter Communications Inc in the cable-TV market, and AT&T Inc, its largest telecommunications competitor.
More than 780,000 customers subscribed to WideOpenWest’s services, as of March 31. Comcast, the No. 1 U.S. cable operator, had about 28 million customers.
WideOpenWest reported a net income of $72.4 million in the quarter ended March 31, on revenue of $300 million. Total subscription revenue fell 2.2 percent to $260.5 million.
It plans to use proceeds from the offering to pay down debt and for general corporate purposes.
UBS Investment Bank and Credit Suisse acted as lead joint book-running managers for the offering. RBC Capital Markets, SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, Evercore ISI and Macquarie Capital were joint book-running managers. (Reporting by Sruthi Shankar and Laharee Chatterjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Martina D‘Couto)