Everstream CEO: sale process is off

The sale of AMP Capital's Cleveland, Ohio-headquartered business-only fibre company Everstream has ended with the owner deciding not to sell the company, Everstream CEO Brett Lindsey told TMT Finance.

According to Lindsey, the business will now focus on solving a backlog of buildouts and fulfilling contracts.

He added that the company could come back to market in 18 to 24 months once the backlog is completed to obtain full value. In the meantime, AMP will continue to fund the business.

Everstream will also evaluate debt facilities, he said.

In April 2021, TMT Finance exclusively reported that Goldman Sachs had been hired to bring the company to market.

Since then, the sale process drew interest from more than 50 potential buyers and over 10 bidders, sources said.

Earlier this month, TMT Finance exclusively reported that the final two parties in the process were Melody Investment Advisors, an alternative asset manager, and Cox Communications, which was bidding via Unite Private Networks (UPN).

Sources said that Everstream, which has over 25,000 route miles of fibre and business fibre services, including dedicated internet access, dark fibre, ethernet, and datacentre solutions, was being marketed off EBITDA of around US$93m.

Sources previously told TMT Finance that only bids over US$1.5bn were accepted to progress beyond the first round.

Everstream, which earlier this year announced fibre builds in seven Midwest markets, connecting more than 2,000 macro cell towers, is owned by Australia-headquartered AMP Capital.

AMP Capital completed its acquisition of Everstream in September 2018, purchasing the company from previous investors M/C Partners, a Boston-based private equity firm, and its limited partners including investors advised by the private equity group of JP Morgan Asset Management and Morgan Stanley Alternative Investment Partners. The previous investors owned the company from 2015 to 2018.

Since AMP Capital acquired the business, Everstream has conducted various bolt-on acquisitions, including Detroit-based fibre network service provider Rocket Fiber; LightBound fibre/CLEC assets; as well as signing a definitive agreement with Uniti to extend its fibre network into Pennsylvania and acquire existing Uniti customers for US$135m.

Earlier this year, Everstream announced its 2021 expansion plans, including to: spend more than US$47m on network growth with a total of 1,047 route miles planned in seven markets; build dense fibre networks in the metro and rural surrounding areas of Fort Wayne and South Bend in Indiana, Lexington and Louisville in Kentucky; Cincinnati, Dayton, and Toledo in Ohio. The company said it plans to add 2,000-3,000 route miles per year over the next few years along with evaluating strategic acquisitions through its build-and-buy strategy.

Last year, DISH signed agreements with Everstream, Segra, Uniti and Zayo, giving it fronthaul and backhaul support to connect its 5G network to sites covering approximately 60 million Americans.