Who are the Top 10 Investors in USA Comms Infrastructure?

Who’s leading communications infrastructure investment and M&A in the USA? TMT Finance has analysed recent investment in this space to compile our definitive list of the top 10 investors in USA Comms Infrastructure, which includes wireless towers, fibre, datacentres and cloud and telecoms services and fixed infrastructure across the country. 

Our top 10 players in the investment space include TMT investment leaders from EQT Partners, TPG Capital, M/C Partners, Silver Lake, Oak Hill Capital Partners, Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners, Digital Bridge, Searchlight Capital Partners, Antin Infrastructure Partners and AMP Capital. These leading investors have been responsible for identifying and executing some of the best opportunities within the sector across the USA in 2018, and many of them will be sharing their expert insights at TMT M&A Forum USA 2019

The Top 10 Comms Infrastructure Investors USA forms part of the inaugural Top 50 Comms Infrastructure Dealmakers USA, which will also include Top 10 categories for Comms Leaders, M&A Dealmakers, Financing Bankers and Legal Advisers, which will follow through January 2019.  

Introducing the Top 10 Comms Infrastructure Investors: 

EQT Partners: Jan Vesely, Partner

Jan Vesely’s focus is infrastructure, with a pedigree in communications infrastructure. He joined EQT Partners in September 2010, making Partner in the firm’s New York office in 2018. He is currently a Director at Mid-Atlantic regional fiber operator, Lumos Networks, among others.

EQT’s communications deals in the USA include: the $950m acquisition of Lumos Network Corp, a fiber-based service provider in the mid-Atlantic region, and subsequent acquisition of Spirit Communications. The combined entity boasts a 21,000 fiber route mile network, and more than one million total fiber strand miles delivered via Ethernet, MPLS, dark fiber, advanced voice, and cloud services. Including 12 colocation and datacenters, the entity connects 44 datacenters total.

Prior to joining EQT Partners, Vesely worked as an analyst at Goldman Sachs in Frankfurt focusing on German and CEE transactions. He holds a master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Mannheim and Portland State University. 

TPG Capital: David Trujillo, Partner

David Trujillo leads TPG Capital’s coverage across Internet, digital media, and communications for TPG’s Growth and Capital platforms. He is a Partner with TPG, based out of San Francisco. He joined the firm in 2006 and sits on the boards of companies including: Univision Communications, Layer3 TV, RCN Telecom & Grande Communications. 

TPG’s communications and media deals in the USA include: the $2.36bn acquisition of Wave Broadband, and subsequent merger with RCN and Grande Communications to create the sixth largest cable operator in the country. The combined companies have a presence in seven of the top 10 DMAs and have nearly 950,000 voice, video and data subscribers. On the media side, TPG also made a $450m investment into Vice Media, which valued the company at $5.7bn. 

Prior to joining TPG, David was a Vice President and Associate at GTCR Golder Rauner. He received an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and BA in economics from Yale University. 

Trujillo has led TPG Growth's investments in Airbnb and Uber, as well as TPG's credit investments in Citadel Broadcasting and Clear Channel Communications.  

M/C Partners: Gillis Cashman, Managing Partner

Gillis Cashman focuses on investment opportunities in the wireline broadband infrastructure and services portion of M/C Partners’ portfolio, having joined the firm in 1999. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Denovo, Ensono, Everstream, Involta, PlumChoice and Thrive Networks. 

M/C Partners’ communications deals in the USA include: the acquisition of Wipro’s Hosted Data Center Services (DCS) business in US, Europe and Singapore via Ensono for $405m; the sale of Everstream, a fiber-based Ethernet, internet and datacenter solutions provider in the Midwest, to AMP Capital; and the acquisition of managed service provider Precision IT via portfolio company Thrive. 

Prior to joining M/C Partners, Cashman was with Salomon Smith Barney in the Global Telecommunications Corporate Finance Group, where he focused on M&A in the wireline and wireless segments of the telecommunications industry. Cashman graduated cum laude from Duke University receiving an AB in economics with distinction. Previous board positions include: Baja Broadband (acquired by TDS), Cavalier Telephone (acquired by PAETEC), City Signal Communications (acquired by Cavalier Telephone), Elantic Networks (merged with Cavalier Telephone), MCCC ICG Holdings (acquired by Level 3), and Zayo Group (IPO). 

Silver Lake: Greg Mondre, Managing Partner and Managing Director

Greg Mondre is a Managing Partner and Managing Director at Silver Lake and a Director of companies including: A Place for Mom, Inc., Fanatics, Inc., GoDaddy, Inc., Motorola Solutions, Red Ventures, Sabre Corporation and WP Engine. He joined the firm in 1999 and is based in New York.

Silver Lake’s communications deals in the USA include: the sale of Vantage Data Centers to Digital Bridge, valued at over $1bn; plus investments into sports and entertainment group Oak View Group, and Blue Danube Systems, a provider of mobile wireless access solutions. 

Prior to joining Silver Lake, Mondre was a principal at Texas Pacific Group, where he focused on private equity investments, with a focus on technology. Mondre also worked as an investment banker in the Communications, Media and Entertainment Group of Goldman Sachs & Co. Previous board positions include: Vantage Data Centers, LLC, IPC Systems, Inc., UGS Corporation, Avaya, and Network General Corporation. Mondre graduated from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania with a B.S. in Economics.

Oak Hill Capital Partners: Scott A. Baker, Partner

Scott A. Baker is responsible for originating, structuring, and managing investments for Oak Hill Capital Partners’ Media & Communications group. He is a Partner at the firm, having joined in 2002. 

Oak Hill’s communications deals in the USA include: two significant exits in the regional fiber space, namely the bumper $2.365bn sale of Washington-headquartered Wave Division to TPG Capital in 2017; and sale of Albany-based fiber, cloud and datacenter operator FirstLight Fiber to Antin Infrastructure Partners in 2018. In 2017, prior to FirstLight’s sale, the company acquired Finger Lakes Technologies Group, 186 Communications, Sovernet Communications and Oxford Networks, all under the ownership of Oak Hill. 

Prior to joining Oak Hill, he was a member of the mergers and acquisitions group at Lazard Frères & Co. Baker earned a B.S. degree, with distinction, from Stanford University, and an M.S. degree in Management Science and Engineering from Stanford University. 

Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners: Brian McMullen, Senior Managing Director

Brian McMullen has been involved with investments across a broad range of sectors for Stonepeak Infrastructure partners, among which his current investments include euNetworks, Extenet Systems, Cologix and Vertical Bridge. He is a Senior Managing Director at the firm. 

Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners’ communications deals in the USA include: the acquisition of New Jersey-based fiber operator Hudson Fiber Network, via Stonepeak and Digital Bridge portfolio company, ExteNet, for an undisclosed amount; plus the $500m equity investment into datacenter operator Cologix. Stonepeak also provided a similar amount of growth capital to European fiber operator euNetworks. 

Prior to joining Stonepeak, McMullen worked for H.I.G. Capital. He began his career at Credit Suisse First Boston in the investment banking division. He holds a Masters of Business Administration from The Wharton School, a Masters of Education from the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Notre Dame.

Digital Bridge: Marc C. Ganzi, Founder and CEO

Marc C. Ganzi is a Founder and CEO of Digital Bridge Holdings, a global investor and owner of mobile and internet infrastructure which has raised over $6.5bn of debt and equity capital. Ganzi currently sits on the boards of: DataBank, Vantage Data Centers, ExteNet Systems, Vertical Bridge and Andean Tower Partners.

Digital Bride Holdings’ communications deals in the USA include: the acquisition of Vantage Data Centers from Silver Lake, valued at over $1bn; the acquisition of New Jersey-based fiber operator Hudson Fiber Network, via Stonepeak and Digital Bridge portfolio company, ExteNet, for an undisclosed amount; the acquisition of Dallas, TX-based enterprise datacenter solutions provider DataBank. Digital Bridge also owns Latin American tower operators, Vertical Bridge, Andean Tower Partners and Mexico Tower Partners. 

Prior to Digital Bridge, Ganzi was the sole founder and CEO of Global Tower Partners (GTP), a privately owned tower company which was sold to American Tower Corporation in 2013 for $4.8bn. Prior to that, he worked as a consulting partner for DB Capital Partners in New York City from 2000 to 2002 covering investments in the Latin American tower sector. He also led and co-founded Apex Site Management and Eureka Broadband Corporation. Ganzi holds a BS from the Wharton School of Business.  

Searchlight Capital Partners: Andrew Frey, Partner

Andrew Frey leads investment into industries including telecommunications and technology at Searchlight Capital Partners, in the firm’s New York office as Partner. He has over 21 years of experience investing and advising in communications and media transactions in the US, Latin America and Europe. Frey is a Director on the board of companies such as US fiber and tower REIT, Uniti.  

Searchlight Capital Partners communications deals in the USA include: the landmark $2bn acquisition and take private deal for global unified communications company Mitel from its shareholders; plus the $150m investment into LA-based media, content, connectivity and data analytics company, Global Eagle. 

Prior to joining Searchlight in 2011, Frey worked at Quadrangle Group in New York where he primarily focused on telecommunications and technology investments. He also held positions at TPG Capital in London and Blackstone in New York. He started his career at Lehman Brothers in New York in 1997 as an Analyst in the media and communications group. Frey received a BS in Finance and BAS in Systems Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania.

Antin Infrastructure Partners: Kevin Genieser, Senior Partner 

Kevin Genieser is one of the key personnel driving Antin Infrastructure Partners’ foray into the US communications infrastructure sector. Genieser joined Antin in 2017 as Senior Partner, based in London, and member of the Investment Committee. Antin is wholly owned by its management, with offices in London, Paris and Luxemburg.     

Antin Infrastructure Partners’ communications deals in the USA include: a single, but significant acquisition of FirstLight Fiber from Oak Hill. Headquartered in Albany, New York, the company provides fiber-optic data, internet, datacenter, cloud and voice services to enterprise and carrier customers throughout the Northeast, connecting more than 8,100 locations in service with more than 42,000 locations serviceable by an over 14,000 route mile network. While FirstLight is the first communications infrastructure business acquired by Antin in the US, it is expected to be the first of many, with Antin also recently active in the European TMT space, having snapped up Ufinet Spain, Cityfibre and Eurofiber.  

Genieser was previously with Morgan Stanley where he was a Managing Director and the Group Head of Power & Utilities EMEA in the Investment Banking department. Prior to that position, he headed Morgan Stanley’s Clean Technology Group based in New York and Silicon Valley. During his 20-year career at Morgan Stanley and in his three years at Credit Suisse First Boston, Genieser advised on over 100 completed transactions in the power, utilities and clean technology sectors in Europe and across the Americas. He has an MBA from Harvard Business School.

AMP Capital: Dylan Foo, Partner & Head of Americas Infrastructure Equity

Dylan Foo is a Partner in the Global Infrastructure Fund (GIF) and also serves as Head of the Americas overseeing sourcing, execution and managing infrastructure investments across the region. He serves on the board of a number of Portfolio companies, Everstream (Fiber), ITS ConGlobal and Angel Trains. AMP Capital is among the world’s top ten infrastructure investors, and has a global focus, with key targeted sectors including communications infrastructure. 

AMP Capital’s communications deals in the USA include: the acquisition of Everstream Network from M/C Partners in 2018. Everstream is a regional US fiber operator which runs 10,300+ route miles of fiber across five states. The valuation of the deal was not disclosed but the company had a 2017 EBITDA of $20m. AMP is said to be on the hunt for more assets in the US fiber and datacenter market, where it sees strong growth potential. The company also owns Spanish broadcasting and telecoms infrastructure company, Axion. 

Foo has executed infrastructure transactions across the globe, and as a member of the Global IC, has overseen the deployment of over $3bn in equity investments across target sectors of communications, transport and energy.

 

To find out more about TMT M&A Forum USA 2019, please visit https://www.tmtfinance.com/usa/

Or email enquiries@tmtfinance.com

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