CHICAGO, July 23, 2015 — ExteNet Systems , Inc., a leading provider of distributed networks enabling outdoor and indoor wireless connectivity, today announced that Digital Bridge Holdings (Digital Bridge) and Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners (Stonepeak) have committed or arranged for over $1 billion in a recapitalization of the company in which the interests of existing investors will be acquired and additional capital will be provided to support the long-term growth of the business. The recapitalization will enable ExteNet to continue pursuing strategic deployment of outdoor and indoor distributed networks, including Small Cells, to meet the network densification and the advanced wireless connectivity needs of its customers, which include the nation’s leading wireless carriers and venue owners.
Key members of the ExteNet Executive Management Team, including co-founder and CEO Ross Manire, will remain with the company and continue to be investors in it. Digital Bridge CEO Marc Ganzi will assume the position of Chairman of the Board at ExteNet after the closing of the transaction. Also joining Mr. Manire on the Board will be Warren Roll of Digital Bridge and Trent Vichie and Brian McMullen of Stonepeak.
Mr. Manire highlighted the contributions from the current investor group to ExteNet’s continued success and growth in the dynamic wireless infrastructure marketplace. “Our current institutional investors – Columbia Capital, Centennial Ventures, Sevin Rosen Funds, CenterPoint Ventures, Palomar Ventures, Quantum Strategic Partners Ltd (a private investment vehicle managed by Soros Fund Management), and SBA Communications – have been instrumental in assisting the business in its development from early concept stage to the significant enterprise of today. We greatly appreciate their years of support and guidance.”
“Distributed networks, including Small Cells and DAS, are multi-billion dollar opportunities today and are projected to grow at more than 25 percent compounded annually. We are now well positioned to both execute our long-term growth plans and also meet the future needs of communications carriers across our target market segments,” said Mr. Manire. “After a great run with our initial venture investor group who started with us ten years ago and the other significant investors who joined in 2010, Digital Bridge and Stonepeak are the ideal partners for this recapitalization. I am looking forward to closing the transaction and working with Marc, with whom I have had a long term industry relationship, and the other new board members to leverage their extensive experience and proven success in the communications infrastructure industry.”
Digital Bridge, based in Boca Raton, Florida, was formed in 2013 through a partnership between Ben Jenkins, formerly of The Blackstone Group, and Marc Ganzi, formerly founder and CEO of Global Tower Partners (GTP). In 2013, GTP was sold for $4.8 billion. Digital Bridge owns interests in a range of communications infrastructure companies. Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners, based in New York, is a private equity firm with over $1.8 billion under management for deployment in North American infrastructure assets.
“We are thrilled to announce our investment in ExteNet Systems. We see a lot of synergies between ExteNet and our other portfolio companies, including Vertical Bridge which is the largest private tower company in the United States,” noted Mr. Ganzi. “We have a positive investment outlook on the overall communications infrastructure sector, including Small Cells, in North America and are especially excited by the long-term growth potential of ExteNet.”
Mr. Vichie, co-founder and Senior Managing Director at Stonepeak stated, “We manage a well-diversified portfolio with strategic investments in the Telecom, Transport, Power and Energy sectors. We focus on companies with strong management teams, healthy financials and a long term growth outlook. Our investment in ExteNet is a testament to their leadership in the growing Small Cell market.”
DAS and Small Cell networks have been deployed by ExteNet since 2005 as part of its distributed network strategy. These outdoor and indoor networks are located in numerous major metropolitan service areas (MSAs), including New York City, Chicago, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Dallas, Boston and Houston.
TAP Advisors served as financial advisors to the Company and the selling shareholders. SunTrust Robinson Humphrey is the administrative agent for debt financing for the transaction. In addition to SunTrust, the bank syndicate includes Barclays Bank, Deutsche Bank, Toronto-Dominion Bank, CIT Finance LLC and the Royal Bank of Canada. Reed Smith LLP provided legal representation to ExteNet, and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP represented ExteNet’s preferred stockholders in connection with the transaction. Digital Bridge and Stonepeak were represented by Simpson, Thacher & Bartlett LLP.
About ExteNet Systems, Inc.
Lisle, IL-based Extenet Systems, Inc. designs, builds, owns and operates distributed networks for use by wireless carriers and venue owners in key strategic markets. Using distributed antenna systems (DAS), small cells, Wi-Fi and other technologies, ExteNet deploys networks to enhance coverage and capacity and enable superior wireless service in both outdoor and indoor environments. Primary markets addressed by ExteNet include outdoor distributed networks in a variety of densely occupied or heavily traveled settings, and indoor verticals, including sports and entertainment venues, the hospitality industry, commercial buildings, and healthcare facilities. For more information, please visit www.extenetsystems.com.
“ExteNet®” is a registered trademark of ExteNet Systems, Inc.
About Digital Bridge
Digital Bridge Holdings is a communications infrastructure platform based in Boca Raton, Florida. It was formed in 2013 through a partnership between Ben Jenkins (formerly of The Blackstone Group) and Marc Ganzi (former founder and CEO of Global Tower Partners). Digital Bridge owns interest in a broad range of communications infrastructure companies. It is dedicated to long-term value creation through the active management of its companies and strong alignment with its investor partners, which include leading institutions, corporations, endowments and family offices around the world. More information may be found at www.digitalbridgellc.com
About Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners
Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners is a North America focused private equity firm with a conservative yet opportunistic approach to infrastructure investing. Stonepeak invests in businesses comprised of hard assets with leading market positions primarily in the following sectors: Energy, Power & Renewables, Transportation, Utilities, Water & Communications. Stonepeak manages $1.8 billion of capital for its investors. For more information, please visit www.stonepeakpartners.com