Verizon Media to be Acquired by Apollo Funds

Apollo Global

Transaction Expected to Accelerate Growth of the Internet and Digital Media Leader

Verizon to Maintain Minority Stake in the New Company to be Known as Yahoo

NEW YORK, May 03, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Verizon (NYSE: VZ) and Apollo Global Management, Inc. (NYSE: APO) (together with its consolidated subsidiaries, “Apollo”) today announced that funds managed by affiliates of Apollo (the “Apollo Funds”) entered into an agreement to acquire Verizon Media for $5 billion. Verizon will retain a 10% stake in the company, which will be known as Yahoo at close of the transaction and continue to be led by CEO Guru Gowrappan.

One of the world’s premier global technology and media companies, Verizon Media is comprised of iconic brands such as Yahoo and AOL, as well as leading ad tech and media platform businesses. The corporate carveout will allow Verizon Media to aggressively pursue growth areas and stands to benefit its employees, advertisers, publishing partners and nearly 900 million monthly active users worldwide.

“We are excited to be joining forces with Apollo,” said Guru Gowrappan, CEO, Verizon Media. “The past two quarters of double-digit growth have demonstrated our ability to transform our media ecosystem. With Apollo’s sector expertise and strategic insight, Yahoo will be well positioned to capitalize on market opportunities, media and transaction experience and continue to grow our full stack digital advertising platform. This transition will help to accelerate our growth for the long- term success of the company.”

“We are thrilled to help unlock the tremendous potential of Yahoo and its unparalleled collection of brands,” said Reed Rayman, Private Equity Partner at Apollo. “We have enormous respect and admiration for the great work and progress that the entire organization has made over the last several years, and we look forward to working with Guru, his talented team, and our partners at Verizon to accelerate Yahoo’s growth in its next chapter.”

“We are big believers in the growth prospects of Yahoo and the macro tailwinds driving growth in digital media, advertising technology and consumer internet platforms,” said David Sambur, Senior Partner and Co-Head of Private Equity at Apollo. “Apollo has a long track record of investing in technology and media companies and we look forward to drawing on that experience to help Yahoo continue to thrive.”

“Verizon Media has done an incredible job turning the business around over the past two and a half years and the growth potential is enormous,” said Hans Vestberg, CEO, Verizon. “The next iteration requires full investment and the right resources. During the strategic review process, Apollo delivered the strongest vision and strategy for the next phase of Verizon Media. I have full confidence that Yahoo will take off in its new home.”

Verizon Media reported strong, diversified year-over-year revenue growth the past two quarters, driven by innovative ad offerings, consumer ecommerce, subscriptions, betting and strategic partnerships. Yahoo, one of the best recognized digital media brands in the world and the fourth most visited internet property globally, continues to evolve as a key destination for finance and news among Gen Z. This was most recently marked by Yahoo News becoming the fastest growing news organization on TikTok.

Under the terms of the agreement, Verizon will receive $4.25 billion in cash, preferred interests of $750 million and retain a 10% stake in Verizon Media. The transaction includes the assets of Verizon Media, including its brands and businesses. The transaction is subject to satisfaction of certain closing conditions and expected to close in the second half of 2021.

Goldman Sachs served as lead financial advisor to Verizon in the transaction. Evercore also served as financial advisor to Verizon. Kirkland & Ellis LLP and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP are serving as legal counsel to Verizon.

LionTree served as lead financial advisor to and will invest alongside the Apollo Funds, bringing its global strategic relationships to Yahoo as the company continues to accelerate growth and pursue strategic investments in key verticals and product areas.

RBC Capital Markets also served as financial advisor to the Apollo Funds in connection with the transaction, alongside Barclays, BMO Capital Markets Corp., Deutsche Bank and Mizuho Securities USA LLC; all are also providing financing for the transaction. Mizuho Securities USA LLC also served as lead structuring advisor to the Apollo Funds. Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP is serving as legal counsel to the Apollo Funds.

About Verizon
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ) was formed on June 30, 2000 and is one of the world’s leading providers of technology, communications, information and entertainment products and services. Headquartered in New York City and with a presence around the world, Verizon generated revenues of $128.3 billion in 2020. The company offers data, video and voice services and solutions on its award-winning networks and platforms, delivering on customers’ demand for mobility, reliable network connectivity, security and control.

About Apollo

Apollo is a leading global investment manager with offices in New York, Los Angeles, San Diego, Houston, Bethesda, London, Frankfurt, Madrid, Luxembourg, Mumbai, Delhi, Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Tokyo, among others. Apollo had assets under management of approximately $455 billion as of December 31, 2020 in credit, private equity and real assets funds. For more information about Apollo, please visit www.apollo.com.

About Verizon Media

Verizon Media, a division of Verizon Communications, Inc., houses a trusted media ecosystem of premium brands like Yahoo, TechCrunch and Engadget to help people stay informed and entertained, communicate and transact, while creating new ways for advertisers and media partners to connect. From XR experiences to advertising and content technology, Verizon Media is an incubator of innovation and is revolutionizing the next generation of content creation in a 5G world.

VERIZON’S ONLINE MEDIA CENTER: News releases, stories, media contacts and other resources are available at verizon.com/news. News releases are also available through an RSS feed. To subscribe, visit www.verizon.com/about/rss-feeds/.

Media contact:
Allison Butler
Corporate Communications
Verizon Media
(202) 669- 9887
allison.butler@verizonmedia.com

Joanna Rose
Global Head of Corporate Communications
Apollo Global Management, Inc.
(212) 822-0491
Communications@apollo.com

Kim Ancin
+ 1 908-801-0500
kimberly.ancin@verizon.com

Investor Contact
Peter Mintzberg
Head of Investor Relations
Apollo Global Management, Inc.
(212) 822-0528
APOInvestorRelations@apollo.com

 

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Source: Verizon Sourcing LLC

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EQT Infrastructure to sell Segra Commercial Services Business

  • EQT Infrastructure to sell Segra’s Commercial Services Business, a leading fiber-based provider of bandwidth services to commercial enterprise and wholesale carrier customers in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast regions of the U.S., to Cox Communications
  • EQT Infrastructure to retain Segra’s residential and SMB business, where EQT Infrastructure has strengthened its commitment to support the business’ next phase of growth
  • Segra was created by EQT Infrastructure through the combination of three geographically contiguous businesses into a super-regional fiber infrastructure provider with an enhanced product portfolio and improved service capabilities
  • During EQT Infrastructure’s ownership, Segra experienced substantial growth and margin expansion through its investment in both new and existing markets, strategic add-on acquisitions and other operational initiatives

EQT is pleased to announce that the EQT Infrastructure III fund (“EQT Infrastructure”) has agreed to sell Segra’s Commercial Services Business to Cox Communications (“Cox”). EQT Infrastructure will retain Segra’s residential and SMB business, which operates under the Lumos Networks and NorthState brands.

Headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, Segra employs more than 1,200 people and provides broadband data services across a 26,000-mile fiber network to a variety of customers including wireless carriers, healthcare providers, local government agencies, financial institutions, education institutions, and residential customers. Ongoing digitalization and outsourcing trends are driving demand for broadband services, particularly in rapidly growing US metro markets such as the ones Segra serves. Together with the management team, EQT supported Segra in its organic and inorganic growth strategies and integration success to develop into the leading super regional fiber company it is today.

At the same time, EQT and the management team scaled Segra’s residential and SMB business by building out fiber to existing and new customers as well as through strategic add-on acquisitions.    Following the transaction, EQT plans to significantly accelerate the build-out of fiber-to-the-premise (“FTTP”) throughout the region, bringing high speed fiber bandwidth for the first time to a large number of markets, many of which to date, have been disadvantaged by no or low availability of quality high speed broadband connectivity.

“We are pleased to have found a good long-term home for Segra’s Commercial Services Business with Cox. Segra has transformed into an integrated, leading provider of broadband services to a variety of enterprise and carrier customers, and we are proud of the achievements we have accomplished alongside management. We thank Tim, the management team and employees, and the advisors in the EQT Network for their vision and guidance,” said Jan Vesely, Partner and Investment Advisor at EQT. “Furthermore, we are excited to retain the residential business and to accelerate the buildout of fiber to residential and SMB customers, bringing fiber to many underserved markets.”

Timothy Biltz, CEO of Segra, said, “EQT has been a great partner throughout Segra’s transformational journey, and we thank them for their guidance and support for nearly four years. Going forward, we are excited to work with Cox and look forward to leveraging their resources, capabilities and strategic insights to meet growing customer demand and accelerate long-term growth.”

The transaction is subject to customary conditions and approvals and is expected to close later in 2021.

Bank Street Group LLC and Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC acted as financial advisors and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP acted as legal advisor to Segra.

Contact
US inquiries: Stephanie Greengarten, +1 646 687 6810, stephanie.greengarten@eqtpartners.com
International inquiries: EQT Press Office, +46 8 506 55 334, press@eqtpartners.com

About EQT
EQT is a purpose-driven global investment organization with more than EUR 67 billion in assets under management across 26 active funds. EQT funds have portfolio companies in Europe, Asia-Pacific and the Americas with total sales of approximately EUR 29 billion and more than 175,000 employees. EQT works with portfolio companies to achieve sustainable growth, operational excellence and market leadership.

More info: www.eqtgroup.com
Follow EQT on LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram

About Segra
Segra is one of the largest independent fiber infrastructure bandwidth companies in the Eastern U.S. It owns and operates an advanced fiber infrastructure network throughout nine Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern states. Segra provides Ethernet, MPLS, dark fiber, advanced data center services, IP and managed services, voice and cloud solutions, all backed by its industry-leading service and reliability. Customers include carriers, enterprises, governments, higher education and healthcare organizations. For more information about Segra’s technology and commitment to customer care, visit www.segra.com.


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Equistone supports WHP with third bolt-on acquisition in a month as revenue grows to over £150m

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Equistone
27 Apr 2021

The UK wireless telecommunications services business WHP Telecoms (“WHP”), backed by Equistone Partners Europe (“Equistone”), has completed the acquisition of Intelligent Communications Solutions Limited (“ICS Group”), a telecoms rigging installations and design company, marking the group’s third acquisition in the space of a month.

Following the acquisitions of Redhall Network Solutions in March and Blue Clarity Design Service in April, the addition of ICS to the WHP group represents the latest in a series of transactions reinforcing the company’s strong market position and enhancing its service capabilities. ICS Group provides full design and build services to multinational telecommunications firms.

Since completing the management buyout of WHP in 2018, Equistone has overseen a buy-and-build strategy which has enabled the group to quickly achieve scale in a competitive market. The three bolt-on transactions announced in the last month represent a continuation of an acquisitive growth plan which began with the bolt-on of Sitec, a delivery-focused project management company providing end-to-end solutions for the UK’s mobile and fixed line network operators, in 2019. The group has established a leading role in the sector and is set to maintain its robust growth profile.

In addition to this buy-and-build activity, Equistone has worked closely with an experienced management team to deliver sustained organic growth. This combination of targeted acquisitions and an effective partnership with management has led to revenue more than doubling since Equistone first invested in WHP to over £150m, while the group’s headcount has similarly increased more than twofold. The strong working relationship between Equistone and the management team continues to have a positive impact on the business, which won a number of significant contracts in the past year. The group has also begun to diversify its offering, moving into tower ownership, a key development which will allow WHP to capitalise on the increasing roll-out activity of MNOs (Mobile Network Operators).

Equistone’s strategic and growth-oriented approach to ownership leaves WHP well placed to reinforce its position as a distinguished provider of infrastructure support and deployment services to the UK telecommunications industry.

“The significant organic growth and meaningful acquisitions accomplished by WHP speak to the quality of the group’s management and is reflected in the doubling of revenue since our partnership began,” said Sebastien Leusch, Investment Director at Equistone. “With even greater expansion in its capabilities with this series of acquisitions, WHP can continue to scale and grow its already-prominent footprint in the market.”

“The underlying drivers of communications and connectivity are strong in the UK, where the mobile and fixed line infrastructure lags behind much of Europe, despite the country being one of the region’s largest economies,” said Andi Tomkinson, Partner at Equistone. “WHP is well-positioned to continue serving and advancing the telecommunications industry with its diversified offering and future growth potential.”

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MetroNet Announces New Investments from Oak Hill Capital and KKR

KKR

New Funding will Accelerate Deployment of Fiber-Based High Speed Broadband Networks to Communities Across the U.S.

EVANSVILLE, Ind.April 21, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — MetroNet today announced that funds managed by leading global investment firm KKR will be joining long-time partner, Oak Hill Capital, and management as investors in MetroNet. As part of the transaction, Oak Hill and KKR will each make new investments to help accelerate MetroNet’s growth in building and connecting fiber-to-the-premise (FTTP) data, television, and telephone services to homes and businesses. This year, MetroNet launched services in its 9th state as it continues to expand its fiber footprint to local communities across the country.

“We value our long-standing partnership with Oak Hill and are proud to welcome our new investors at KKR,” said John Cinelli, MetroNet CEO. “The additional investments from Oak Hill and KKR will drive growth that further bridges the digital divide by providing hundreds of thousands of additional households access to world class and future proof 100% fiber optic services for living, learning, and connecting to each other. We look forward to maintaining our commitment to excellence in serving our customers and communities.”

MetroNet is one of the fastest-growing providers of fiber optic high-speed broadband services in the nation. The company is known for its superior customer service provided through a strong local presence. MetroNet delivers affordable symmetrical speeds of up to 10 Gbps to homes and businesses in underserved, small town America, and is credited with creating the largest Gigabit city in the U.S. by fully wiring Lexington, Kentucky. MetroNet’s state-of-the-art fiber optic network is built to the highest technical standards, with its existing infrastructure having supported reliable service over the past year when COVID-induced disruptions substantially increased the need for greater bandwidth for tele-work, school, health, and more. The company expects its network to be available to over 1 million residential households and business locations in the near future, bringing competition for these services to hundreds of communities.

Oak Hill is an experienced investor in the FTTP space and has been a partner with the MetroNet team since 2014.  Other Oak Hill broadband investments to enable increased fiber access in the U.S. include Vexus Fiber, a rapidly expanding provider in Texas and surrounding states; Future Fiber Holdings in the Northeast; and Race Communications in California and surrounding states.

“We believe that reliable, high-speed access to the Internet represents a fundamental underpinning of economic growth and equal opportunity for all Americans, from small towns to big cities,” said Benjy Diesbach and Scott Baker, partners at Oak Hill.  “We are excited to build upon our seven year partnership with MetroNet’s outstanding management team, led by John Cinelli, as the company expands its fiber network to many more underserved American communities.”

KKR will be making the investment in MetroNet through its global infrastructure strategy. The firm first established its global infrastructure strategy in 2008 and has since been one of the most active infrastructure investors around the world, currently managing over $27 billion in infrastructure assets. KKR has significant experience investing in the growth of leading FTTP providers globally, including FiberCop in Italy, Hyperoptic in the U.K. and Deutsche Glasfaser in Germany. Most recently, KKR announced the creation of independent open access wholesale fiber optic network companies in both Chile and in the Netherlands.

“MetroNet has set itself apart as the leading independent FTTP provider in the U.S., well-known for its high quality technology, exceptional customer service and local operations,” said Waldemar Szlezak, a senior leader on KKR’s infrastructure investment team. “We are thrilled to be supporting MetroNet, alongside Oak Hill, on its mission to deliver much-needed broadband access across the U.S., a market that is well behind its peers in FTTP connectivity.”

The transaction is expected to close in the 3rd quarter, subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions. Specific terms of the investment were not released.

Bank Street Group LLC and Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC served as co-lead financial advisors to MetroNet in connection with this transaction. Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP and Polsinelli served as legal counsel to MetroNet. TD Securities served as advisor to Oak Hill. Simpson Thacher served as legal counsel to KKR.

About MetroNet:
MetroNet is a 100 percent Fiber Optic Company headquartered in Evansville, Indiana. The customer-focused company provides cutting-edge fiber optic communication services, including high-speed Fiber Internet, full-featured Fiber Phone, and Fiber IPTV with a wide variety of programing. MetroNet started in 2005 with one fiber optic network in Greencastle, Indiana, and has since grown to serving and constructing networks in more than 100 communities across IndianaIllinoisIowaKentuckyMichiganMinnesotaOhioFlorida, and North Carolina. MetroNet is committed to bringing state-of- the-art telecommunication services to communities — services that are comparable or superior to those offered in large metropolitan areas. MetroNet has been named in the top 50 small and medium companies on Glassdoor and has been honored with a Glassdoor Employees’ Choice Award recognizing MetroNet among the Best Places to Work in 2020. For more information visit www.MetroNetinc.com.

About Oak Hill Capital
Oak Hill Capital is a private equity firm managing funds with over $16 billion of initial capital commitments and co-investments since inception. Over the past 35 years, Oak Hill Capital and its predecessors have invested in approximately 100 private equity transactions across broad segments of the U.S. and global economies. Oak Hill Capital applies an industry-focused, theme-based approach to investing in the following sectors: Services, Industrials, Media & Communications, and Consumer. Oak Hill works actively in partnership with management to implement strategic and operational initiatives to create franchise value. For more information, please visit: www.oakhill.com.

About KKR
KKR is a leading global investment firm that offers alternative asset management and capital markets and insurance solutions. KKR aims to generate attractive investment returns by following a patient and disciplined investment approach, employing world-class people, and supporting growth in its portfolio companies and communities. KKR sponsors investment funds that invest in private equity, credit and real assets and has strategic partners that manage hedge funds. KKR’s insurance subsidiaries offer retirement, life, and reinsurance products under the management of The Global Atlantic Financial Group. References to KKR’s investments may include the activities of its sponsored funds and insurance subsidiaries. For additional information about KKR & Co. Inc. (NYSE: KKR), please visit KKR’s website at www.kkr.com and on Twitter @KKR_Co.

Media contact for MetroNet:
Keith Leonhardt
812-213-1016
www.MetronetInc.com

Media Contact for Oak Hill:
Dawn Dover
Kekst CNC
917-349-5621
dawn.dover@kekstcnc.com

Media Contact for KKR:
Cara Major or Miles Radcliffe-Trenner
media@kkr.com

SOURCE MetroNet

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KKR and DTCP Roll Out Fiber Infrastructure in the Netherlands

DTCP

Open access platform to deploy FttH broadband to a minimum 1 million homes by 2025, across urban and higher population density areas

T-Mobile Netherlands to become the first major tenant

The Hague, 7 April 2021 – KKR, a leading global investment firm, and DTCP, an investment management platform focusing on digital infrastructure and growth equity, today announced the launch of Open Dutch Fiber and a strategic agreement between Open Dutch Fiber and T-Mobile Netherlands.

Open Dutch Fiber, an independent platform majority owned by KKR and with DTCP as minority shareholder, will deploy Fiber-to-the-Home (“FttH”) broadband in the Netherlands across urban and higher population density areas, delivering high-quality fiber connections to Dutch households and businesses.

The platform has an open architecture and will make wholesale fiber services available to all operators. Open Dutch Fiber will begin operations in Q2 2021 with a fully-funded commitment for an envisaged capital expenditure of approximately €700 million and construction agreements already in place.

Open Dutch Fiber will be led by Jordi Nieuwenhuis and Uwe Nickl. Jordi and Uwe have a proven track record of delivering rapid, high-quality and cost-effective programmes to deploy fiber broadband. Most recently they were co-CEOs of Deutsche Glasfaser in Germany, supporting the rollout of next-generation digital infrastructure to more than 1 million homes and 6,000 businesses. Prior to his role at Deutsche Glasfaser, Jordi co-founded Reggefiber in the Netherlands. They will be joined at Open Dutch Fiber by Michael Griffioen as CEO, who will oversee the company’s day-to-day operations.

To support the rollout, Open Dutch Fiber has signed an agreement with T-Mobile Netherlands, the leading mobile operator and FMC challenger in the Netherlands. T-Mobile Netherlands, which currently has a mobile base of 6.8 million customers and a fixed base of 682,000, will be the anchor tenant for Open Dutch Fiber with a 20-year agreement.

Jordi Nieuwenhuis, co-founder of Open Dutch Fiber, said: “High-quality and reliable fiber connectivity is essential for the Netherlands and this has only been accelerated with the structural changes to working patterns of companies and citizens brought about by the COVID-19 crisis. We are building a digital infrastructure platform with open access to all operators, to ensure an efficient and rapid deployment of capital resources, while avoiding uneconomical overbuild. We look forward to making a significant contribution to the digitization of the Netherlands to benefit Dutch households and businesses.”

Cristina González, Managing Director in KKR’s EMEA Infrastructure team, said: “We are excited about the opportunity ahead for Open Dutch Fiber as an independent FttH platform in the Netherlands, and one which will support the rollout of critical infrastructure for Dutch society. KKR will support Open Dutch Fiber with capital and deep expertise in delivering large-scale fiber deployment programmes.”

“The creation of Open Dutch Fiber is an important milestone in the acceleration of fiber rollout in the Netherlands and a blueprint for innovative financing solutions in European digital infrastructure. We are firm believers in the sharing of digital infrastructure and are establishing Open Dutch Fiber as an open access model, enabling attractive economics for operators and best prices for consumers. We look forward to the collaboration with our partners”, said Vicente Vento, Co-Founder and CEO of DTCP.

KKR will be making the investment through its Global Infrastructure Investors Funds. KKR first established its Global Infrastructure strategy in 2008 and has since been one of the most active infrastructure investors around the world with a team of more than 50 dedicated investment professionals. The firm currently manages over $27 billion in infrastructure assets and has made over 40 infrastructure investments across a range of sub-sectors and geographies. Open Dutch Fiber will benefit from KKR’s expertise in digital infrastructure and fiber deployment, following similar recent investments in Deutsche Glasfaser in Germany, Hyperoptic in the UK and FiberCop in Italy.

DTCP Infra invests in European digital infrastructure across three verticals: towers, fiber, and data centers. The DTCP Infra team has an established track record creating innovative solutions for digital infrastructure development in collaboration with its financial and industrial partners. The firm’s investments in Swiss Towers and in Community Fiber provide relevant experiences for the benefit of Open Dutch Fiber.

Morgan Stanley acted as exclusive financial advisor and De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek as legal advisor to Deutsche Telekom/T-Mobile. Clifford Chance acted as legal advisor to KKR and DTCP.

-ends-

About KKR

KKR is a leading global investment firm that offers alternative asset management and capital markets and insurance solutions. KKR aims to generate attractive investment returns by following a patient and disciplined investment approach, employing world-class people, and supporting growth in its portfolio companies and communities. KKR sponsors investment funds that invest in private equity, credit and real assets and has strategic partners that manage hedge funds. KKR’s insurance subsidiaries offer retirement, life and reinsurance products under the management of The Global Atlantic Financial Group. References to KKR’s investments may include the activities of its sponsored funds and insurance subsidiaries. For additional information about KKR & Co. Inc. (NYSE: KKR), please visit KKR’s website at www.kkr.com and on Twitter @KKR_Co.

About DTCP

DTCP is an investment management platform focused on digital infrastructure and growth equity. Founded in 2015, the firm has raised more than $1 billion in funds from corporate and institutional investors and invested in over 60 companies. DTCP Infra invests in digital infrastructure across mobile towers, fiber, and data centres. DTCP Growth invests in leading enterprise application and infrastructure software companies. DTCP has a dedicated team supporting its portfolio companies and its industrial partners. DTCP is headquartered in Hamburg with offices in Menlo Park, Tel Aviv, and Seoul. To learn more about DTCP, please visit dtcp.capital, or on Twitter @dtcp_capital.

Media contact

Alastair Elwen, FGH

+44 20 7251 3801 | KKR-Lon@finsbury.com

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KKR to Acquire Telefónica Chile’s Wholesale Fiber Optic Network to Create First Open Access Network in Chile

KKR

February 22, 2021

Newly Formed Independent Company to Increase High Speed Broadband Access for Chileans

SANTIAGO DE CHILE, NEW YORK & MADRID–(BUSINESS WIRE)– KKR, a leading global investment firm, today announced it has entered into an agreement with Telefónica, a leading global telecommunications company, to establish Chile’s first open access wholesale fiber optics company with the mission to bring greater broadband access across Chile.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210222005928/en/

Under the agreement, KKR will acquire a majority stake in Telefónica Chile’s existing fiber optic network, the largest fiber optic network in Chile, and make that network open access through a newly established independent Chilean company with assets managed locally. Telefónica will hold a 40% stake in the business. The newly formed enterprise will serve as Chile’s first wholesale digital infrastructure network open to all current and future telecom operators in Chile, creating a competitive marketplace benefitting consumers and businesses across the country.

Despite Chile leading Latin America in GDP per capita, it is currently third-ranked in fiber-to-the-home connectivity. Fiber optic service offers very high reliability and speeds 10-1000 times faster than cable and legacy telecommunication networks.

Upon approval, the new business plans to expand broadband coverage in Chile from 2 million households today to a minimum of 3.5 million households by 2023, and to provide wholesale service to more than 40,000 businesses, telecom towers, and small cells. The newly formed network will provide access to under-served areas with more than two-thirds of households covered by the network being outside of high-income urban areas.

“We are excited to be working with Telefónica to create the first-ever open access wholesale fiber network in Chile. This will create competition where none exists today, helping Chilean families, companies, and the economy recover and grow in the digital economy,” said Waldemar Szlezak, senior leader on KKR’s infrastructure investment team.

Alfonso Gómez Palacio, CEO Telefónica HispAm, added, “This transaction demonstrates the value of our infrastructure and our willingness to contribute to the sustainable development of the fiber market in Chile. We have seen increased commercial activity over the last 12 months, and this transaction will further support this momentum as we will be able to accelerate the fiber-optic deployment. Our stake in the new company provides us with substantial flexibility in the long-term, in a market with enormous future potential. We are proud to share this project with our partners at KKR, a company with whom we have worked on key initiatives for Telefónica.”

The transaction is valued at approximately US$1 billion and is expected to close in the first half of 2021, subject to regulatory approvals.

The state-of-the-art fiber optic network is built to the highest technical standards, with its existing infrastructure having supported reliable service over the past year when COVID-induced disruptions substantially increased the need for greater bandwidth for tele-work, school, health, and more. In 2020, the network, which is being transferred to the newly formed company, was recognized as the Best and Fastest Fixed Network in Chile.

The new company will be controlled by KKR and will leverage the firm’s global experience in digital infrastructure and in operating and deploying fiber networks, including related investments in FiberCop in Italy, Hyperoptic in the U.K., Deutsche Glasfaser in Germany, Telxius in Europe and Latin America, Hivory in France, Global Technical Realty in Europe, Bharti Infratel in India, and Pinnacle Towers in the Philippines.

KKR is making the investment through its Global Infrastructure Investors III Fund. KKR first established its global infrastructure team and strategy in 2008 and has since been one of the most active infrastructure investors around the world. Over this period, the Firm has deployed more than $24 billion across approximately 40 infrastructure investments, and currently has a team of 45 dedicated investment professionals.

About KKR

KKR is a leading global investment firm that offers alternative asset management and capital markets and insurance solutions. KKR aims to generate attractive investment returns by following a patient and disciplined investment approach, employing world-class people, and supporting growth in its portfolio companies and communities. KKR sponsors investment funds that invest in private equity, credit and real assets and has strategic partners that manage hedge funds. KKR’s insurance subsidiaries offer retirement, life and reinsurance products under the management of The Global Atlantic Financial Group. References to KKR’s investments may include the activities of its sponsored funds and insurance subsidiaries. For additional information about KKR & Co. Inc. (NYSE: KKR), please visit KKR’s website at www.kkr.com and on Twitter @KKR_Co.

About Telefónica

Telefónica is one of the largest telecommunications service providers in the world. The company offers fixed and mobile connectivity as well as a wide range of digital services for residential and business customers. With 342 million customers, Telefónica operates in Europe and Latin America. Telefónica is a 100% listed company and its shares are traded on the Spanish Stock Market and on those in New York and Lima. In 2019, Telefónica set an action plan as a catalyst for the transformation of the company. The plan seeks to prioritize its four relevant markets and grow sustainably in the long term, boost its growth potential while leveraging the value of its infrastructure, increase agility and improve efficiency.

Media:
Azerta (For KKR Chile):
Fernando Gómez
+56 9 9576 9049
fgomez@azerta.cl
Daniela Maldonado
+56 9 9672 0506
dmaldonado@azerta.cl

For KKR Americas:
Cara Major or Miles Radcliffe-Trenner
media@kkr.com

For Telefónica:
Dulce Jiménez
+52 55 1637 7623
dulce.jimenez@telefonica.com

For Telefonica Chile:
Ricardo Ibáñez
+56 9 9320 7063
ricardo.ibanez@telefonica.com

Source: KKR

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Altamir announces the partial sale of its shareholding in Expereo, a company held through the Apax France IX fund

Altamir

Paris, 2 February 2021 – Vitruvian Partners, the international growth capital and buyout firm, has reached an agreement with Apax Partners SAS to acquire a majority shareholding in Expereo, the world’s leading provider of Managed Internet, Cloud access and SD-WAN solutions. Apax Partners will remain as a minority shareholder alongside Vitruvian Partners and the company’s management team, who will continue to lead the business. The completion of the transaction is subject to obtaining customary merger control clearances.

Expereo has a strong track record of growth, financial performance and value-enhancing acquisitions, solidifying its position as a market leader in providing managed Global Internet and network connectivity solutions to its communication service provider partners and an impressive array of multinational corporate customers spanning the globe.

 

About Altamir

Altamir is a listed private equity company (Euronext Paris-B, ticker: LTA) founded in 1995 and with an investment portfolio of more than €1.2bn. Its objective is to provide shareholders with long-term capital appreciation and regular dividends by investing in a diversified portfolio of private equity investments.

Altamir’s investment policy is to invest via and with the funds managed by Apax Partners SAS and Apax Partners LLP, two leading private equity firms that take majority or lead positions in buyouts and growth capital transactions and seek ambitious value creation objectives.

In this way, Altamir provides access to a diversified portfolio of fast-growing companies across Apax’s sectors of specialisation (TMT, Consumer, Healthcare, Services) and in complementary market segments (mid-sized companies in continental Europe and larger companies in Europe, North America and key emerging markets).

Altamir derives certain tax benefits from its status as a SCR (“Société de Capital Risque”). As such, Altamir is exempt from corporate tax and the company’s investors may benefit from tax exemptions, subject to specific holding-period and dividend-reinvestment conditions.

For more information: www.altamir.fr

 

Contact

Claire Peyssard-Moses

Tel.: +33 6 34 32 38 97

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Wireless Logic completes acquisition of Com4

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Wireless Logic completes acquisition of Com4

Wireless Logic, a global leading IoT connectivity platform provider, has further expanded its presence in Europe with the acquisition of Com4, a Norwegian MVNO with a focus on IoT and M2M communication. The latest in a line of back-to-back acquisitions for the UK company, Com4 will bring added mobile capability and expertise, while also strengthening the Wireless Logic’s presence in the Nordic region.

Headquartered in Oslo, Com4 was founded in 2011 and today employs a team of 18 professionals with a wealth of experience across applications from smart metering to the industrial IoT. Co-founders Henning Solberg (COO) and Raymond Berntsen (Sales Manager) remain a critical part of the management team.

Com4 is one of the few operators in Norway with its own dedicated core network and M2M platform, making it fully equipped to deliver advanced mobile communication services to the professional market. Over the course of the past decade, the company has established itself as a pioneering business, utilising eSIM and NB-IoT/LTE-M cellular based “low-power” network technologies.

 

Stein André Larner, CEO of Com4, comments: “Our core focus is mobile data communication in every link of the chain, from design to delivery and support. This means that our customers’ communication needs and challenges are met with understanding and competence throughout our entire value chain. With the support of the Wireless Logic group, we are confident that we will be able to enhance our offering further.”

The acquisition was completed on 15th Jan 2021. Larner, as well as Solberg, Berntsen and the whole Com4 team, will continue to fulfil their roles at Com4 post-acquisition.

Oliver Tucker, CEO at Wireless Logic, says: “By welcoming such a talented team to our ever-expanding business, we are able to bolster expertise and boost capabilities, paving the way for sustained business expansion in 2021. We’ll be working closely with Com4 to ensure that they are able to continue their growth path, whilst leveraging the advantages of being part of the Wireless Logic group.”

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Gimv sells OTN Systems, a provider of telecommunication solutions for industrial markets, to listed Belden Inc.

GIMV

Gimv, co-shareholders Manuardeo and management, today announce that they are selling OTN Systems to US-based Belden Inc., a global provider of telecommunication transmission and security solutions for corporate and industrial markets. Having expanded significantly after sustained development efforts, OTN Systems is ready to continue growing internationally with Belden Inc.

Gimv acquired the OTN business unit from Nokia Siemens Networks via a carve-out in 2008 and subsequently established OTN Systems (Olen-B, www.otnsystems.com). The company develops and distributes mission-critical telecommunication solutions for industrial markets such as electricity, transport and oil & gas.

OTN Systems successfully launched XTran, a next generation platform tailored for industrial applications. Its underlying network technology choices avoid the complexity of generic solutions developed for Telecom Operators. XTran secures reliable operations in harsh environments, while its management system (TXCare) supports an intuitive and simple handling.

Under the energetic leadership of its CEO, telecom & technology veteran Dirk Van den Berghen (ex-Alcatel and ex-LMS/Siemens), OTN Systems successfully deployed XTran in the global market thanks to a sustained development effort, substantial operational improvements and a significant expansion of the global partner network, including a number of important OEM agreements such as with Belden Inc..
Today OTN Systems operates across the world through its own sales offices and many local partners. The company employs more than 140 people, about 60 of them in R&D. Since its market introduction in 2015, more than 100 customers worldwide have selected XTran as they migrated their legacy telecom networks to a next generation technology.

In the transaction announced today, Gimv along with co-shareholders Manuardeo and management, are selling OTN Systems to US-based Belden Inc. (NYSE: BDC), a global provider of telecommunication transmission and security solutions for corporate and industrial markets. Belden employs approximately 7 000 people worldwide and in 2019 posted consolidated sales of 2.13 billion USD.

Bart Diels, Managing Partner at Gimv and Chairman of the Board of OTN Systems, states: “We are particularly proud that OTN Systems has built a top-notch product portfolio. In several recent projects, OTN Systems’ commercial teams and XTran have outperformed larger telecommunications suppliers, resulting in exponential growth. As part of the Belden group, OTN Systems is now ideally placed to continue growing internationally.”

Dirk Van den Berghen, CEO of OTN Systems, adds: “OTN Systems’ commercial success with XTran is the result of clear choices made. Unlike its larger traditional competitors, OTN Systems focuses exclusively on the specific telecommunication needs of industrial networks. It has also chosen to devote almost all its attention and resources to developing and marketing the new technology platform, without neglecting the many existing customers of the more mature OTN legacy product. The acquisition by Belden will further accelerate the sales expansion of the XTran portfolio as an essential part of a broader solution for industrial customers, marketed by a larger, global sales organization.” 

This transaction has a positive impact of about 15 million euro on Gimv’s net asset value as per 30 September 2020. The return over the entire investment period exceeds Gimv’s long-term average. No further financial details will be disclosed.

Read the full press release:

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Gimv
Karel Oomsstraat 37, 2018 Antwerpen, Belgium
www.gimv.com

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Orange strengthens its venture capital activity in digital innovation by creating a new entity – Orange Ventures with an allocation of 350 million euros

Orange Ventures enters top 10 corporate venture capital funds in Europe.

Orange today announces that its venture capital arm, Orange Ventures has become a separate legal entity with an increased allocation of 350 million euros, empowering it to be more agile and competitive in seeking out and supporting the best start-up talent worldwide. Orange Ventures invests in high-growth sectors, in areas traditional to Orange expertise such as connectivity, cybersecurity, the digital enterprise, and innovative financial services, as well as new territories that the group is exploring, like e-health.

With offices in Paris and Dakar, Orange Ventures supports start-ups at all stages of maturity, from seed stage start-ups in Africa and the Middle East, to more mature companies in Europe and the United States, with investment tickets up to 20 million euros per financing round.

For Orange, the purpose of Orange Ventures is to promote the emergence of future technological champions who support the transition to an increasingly digital and responsible world, at the service of all, by sharing their innovation capabilities with its 256 million customers worldwide. To achieve this, Orange Ventures differentiates by proposing a highly structured process for exploring and creating flexible and optional synergies between Orange and start-ups.

Orange Ventures aims to achieve the financial performance of the best venture capital investment companies, and will make its investment decisions autonomously. The Orange Ventures team, made up of twenty people, has thus been strengthened with established experts from the venture capital industry, and will also take over the management of the portfolio of the Orange Digital Ventures initiative launched in 2015.

Jérôme Berger, President and Managing Partner of Orange Ventures declares: “our wish is to constitute an organisation which combines the best of both worlds: Orange’s business expertise as well as the agility of decision-making and the quality of the financial monitoring of the best investment funds. We closely support each start-up post-investment in order to contribute to its development and facilitate its direct and structured access to the Orange ecosystem whenever it is relevant.”

About Orange Ventures
With a 350 million euros allocation, Orange Ventures is dedicated to investments in innovative startups in areas of strategic interest of Orange (Networks & IT, Digital Enterprise, Cybersecurity, and Fintech) and beyond (Consumer platforms, E -gaming, Edtech, Health etc). Orange Ventures also deploys initiatives dedicated to the Africa and Middle East region. Supported by the Orange group, and made up of a team of 20 people, Orange Ventures offers startups in which it invests access to the Group’s expertise and the possibility of setting up synergies with its many business units and its 256 million customers in 26 countries. For more information, visit ventures.orange.com or follow us on Twitter @Orange_DV.

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