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UPDATE 1-Broadband provider WOW! to sell five services areas for about $1.8 bln

(Adds sale details, background)

June 30 (Reuters) - U.S. broadband provider WOW! Internet, Cable & Phone said on Wednesday it has entered two separate agreements to sell five of its service areas for about $1.8 billion.

The company will sell its Cleveland and Columbus service areas for $1.13 billion to cable operator Atlantic Broadband, a unit of Canada’s Cogeco Communications Inc.

WOW’s Chicago, Evansville and Anne Arundel service areas will be acquired by Astound Broadband for $661 million.

The transactions are expected to close in the second half of the year and WOW plans to use the proceeds from the deal to reduce its debt.

As of March 31, the company’s long-term debt was $2.3 billion.

WOW mainly caters to the southeastern and midwestern regions, providing high-speed data, cable television and internet telephony services. (Reporting by Eva Mathews in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

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