Month: October 2021

American Tower logo

American Tower expands data center footprint with DataSite acquisition

Source: RCR Wireless News

American Tower’s portfolio now consists of nine data centers

American Tower has closed the acquisition of data center owner/operator DataSite. The tower company will now assume responsibility for all management and operations of DataSite’s two data center locations in Atlanta, Georgia and Orlando, Florida. This deal expends the company’s current Atlanta presence and marks its entrance into Orlando.

“The acquisition of DataSite augments our Data Center portfolio. Since entering the data center market in 2019, we’ve been committed to meeting the growing demands of our customers by expanding critical connectivity services,” says Eric Watko, VP of product line management for American Tower. “These Metro Data Centers are critical to our edge strategy, as they contain the carrier hotel, providing interconnectivity access to internet exchanges and cloud services.” 

American Tower customers will have access to services across the DataSite network, including its dedicated internet access, carrier-neutral cross-connects, cloud ramps and point-to-point data center connectivity and cloud options, including WAN and SD-WAN options, according to the company.

American Tower’s portfolio now consists of nine data centers. Last year, as part of its Data Edge Center Initiative, the company launched six data edge centers in Denver and Boulder, Colorado; Pittsburgh; Atlanta; Jacksonville, Florida; and Austin, Texas.

The newly acquired data center in Orlando is strategically located to complement the Jacksonville location and will open “additional connectivity avenues in Florida” and offer “a vehicle for customers to conveniently connect to facilities in Miami that touch networks across Latin America,” said American Tower.

The Atlanta data center, located in Marietta, will allow for the extension of enterprise customer networks.

“DataSite is in good hands with American Tower,” says Jeff Burges, former president of DataSite. “They have shown a commitment to expanding in this industry and providing our customers the same level of service, with the same team they’ve come to expect. 

EQT logo

EQT Infrastructure and Stonepeak to acquire DELTA Fiber

Source: CISION

EQT and Stonepeak are pleased to announce that EQT Infrastructure V (“EQT Infrastructure”) and Stonepeak have agreed to acquire DELTA Fiber (the “Company”) from EQT Infrastructure III. Following the closing of the transaction, each party will hold a 50 percent stake in the Company and co-control DELTA Fiber through a strong industrial board.

Headquartered in Schiedam, the Netherlands, DELTA Fiber provides high-speed broadband, TV and fixed and mobile telephony to Dutch households and businesses connected to its superior fiber-to-the-home (“FTTH”) network. DELTA Fiber owns and operates approximately 50,000 km fiber-based network infrastructure that connects approximately 900,000 households and businesses across the Netherlands. The Company employs approximately 600 people and was established as DELTA Fiber in 2018, following a combination of DELTA and CAIW, which were acquired by EQT Infrastructure III in February 2017 and January 2018, respectively.

With 20,000 new connections per month, DELTA Fiber today is one of the largest and fastest growing fiber companies in the Netherlands and is on its way to reaching one million connections by the end of 2021. DELTA Fiber benefits from a rapid growth in data consumption and an increased demand for fast and stable internet. The Company’s new network rollout will be based on the latest fiber technology (XGS-PON) that enables speeds up to 10 Gbps. This is the prelude to its 25G-PON technology that enables speeds up to 25 Gbps.

DELTA Fiber will benefit from EQT’s and Stonepeak’s significant combined expertise in the digital infrastructure sector and vast track record in fiber rollout across the Netherlands and Europe. Both parties are committed to investing significantly in the continued digitalization of the Dutch society by accelerating nationwide B2C and B2B FTTH connectivity in suburban and rural areas. Moreover, the Company’s fiber broadband is more sustainable and energy efficient than the legacy networks, with approximately 40-60 percent lower energy consumption.

Together, EQT Infrastructure and Stonepeak will support DELTA Fiber and its management team in its ambition to reach a footprint of two million fiber connections by 2025, thereby covering a quarter of the country. The Company will also be supported by a strong advisory board with seasoned industry experts who possess broad expertise within digital infrastructure and FTTH rollout. 

Matthias Fackler, Partner within EQT Infrastructure’s Advisory Team, said, “We are deeply impressed by DELTA Fiber’s management and employees’ strong performance over the past few years. EQT Infrastructure is excited to support their continued journey of digitizing the Netherlands by providing high quality broadband infrastructure to Dutch households and businesses. EQT Infrastructure shares this vision with Stonepeak whose vast experience in the digital infrastructure space makes them an ideal partner to support DELTA Fiber in its next phase of evolution and growth.”

Brian McMullen, Senior Managing Director at Stonepeak, said, “Stonepeak has long recognized the mission critical nature of broadband in today’s society and we look forward to working with Marco and the team to accelerate the additional rollout of DELTA Fiber’s network across the Netherlands. We are delighted to partner with a like-minded peer in EQT Infrastructure on this transaction, which will accelerate DELTA Fiber’s ability to connect households throughout the country with reliable broadband.”

Cyrus Gentry, Managing Director at Stonepeak, added, “DELTA Fiber, with its unique asset base and industry-leading management team, represents a compelling investment opportunity that will complement Stonepeak’s existing global portfolio of residential broadband-focused platforms.”

Marco Visser, CEO of DELTA Fiber, said, “Two leading international investors joining DELTA Fiber confirms our success in recent years. That EQT is choosing to invest in our company again, together with Stonepeak, shows confidence in our ambitious plans for the future. Together they provide us with a solid foundation for further growth.”

The transaction is subject to customary conditions and approvals. It is expected to close in December 2021. With the acquisition of a stake in DELTA Fiber, EQT Infrastructure V is expected to be 60-65 percent invested (including closed and/or signed investments, announced public offers, if applicable, and less any expected syndication).

Is Cable Ready to Spend?

October 1, 2021

The September conference cycle is never dull and always full of interesting tidbits for those who really listen to the undercurrents of what CEOs and CFOs are saying. I have found that history has shown this time and time again in 20+ years of going into “September listening mode.”

One of the key themes this past month came from the cable sector. In short – cable may be down…but they are sitting back up. Comcast stock has struggled to find its footing since September 14th when its CFO previewed that broadband adds would be less than Street estimates. Specifically he noted they have seen a slowdown since late August in Broadband adds and growth would be down from the (record) Q3’19 levels. ATUS also previewed weaker than expected Q3’21 adds – now guiding to 15K – 20K in broadband losses (with plan to finish flat / slightly up on net adds for FY’21). Its stock has also felt some pain – down approximately 25 percent since September 1st.

The question is what is driving this weakness for cable? The CMCSA CFO acknowledged the times in the competitive front are indeed a changin’. Specifically he noted: “we’ve been mindful that competition’s coming in one of our best and favorite businesses, frankly, for quite some time.”

One of the things we have often discussed in our write-ups is that telecom has very much “woken up” to the need for more fiber. When telecos were not as much focused on broadband and fiber-deep, life was very good for cable. When I was an analyst one of the things I used to say was ‘never underestimate the cable cos’. Two years later, we would continue to say this.

In the September webcasts from the cable cos there seemed to be very purposeful messaging being sent. Perhaps this was best seen by listening to the cable Godfather himself, Brian Roberts (Chairman and CEO of Comcast). When asked about the balance sheet at the Goldman Sachs conference he made a notable point. Specifically, he said: “You’re going to have a lot of free cash flow and your first goal would be to invest in the business.” This tails off some comments from the CFO two weeks prior who noted: “We’re going to step on the gas a little bit….and continue to invest in the network on the path to DOCSIS 4.0 which will give us multi-gig speeds up and down.” This was not surprising, but what was surprising was the follow up to this statement. He went on to say: “no, no, no trigger other than that’s the path we want to get our business on and with the success of trialing 4.0 technologies in the last bunch of months….its for real and we want to get ourselves on the path to doing that.”

The “no other trigger” seems hard to me. The trigger is kind of hiding in plain sight, isn’t it? In the last nine months, AT&T, Frontier, Windstream, Consolidated, Lumen, Apollo and many many other smaller players (too many to list) have been spreading the “fiberized” gospel. And this will only be entering hyper-drive mode as a massive amount of broadband infrastructure capital enters the states’ pockets.

My guess is the history books will show that this past month will indeed be a “September to Remember” because it will mark the point where cable showed they are not backing down. They may have been hit, but they are no shrinking violet and if telecom is moving, cable is saying “game on – we are ready!”