Investor News

News, deals and announcements from investor community about digital infrastructure

Wells Fargo Announces New Digital Infrastructure Strategy and Strategic Partnerships With Microsoft, Google Cloud

Source: Business Wire

SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) announced today its new digital infrastructure strategy, combining a multi-cloud approach with third-party data centers to drive technological speed, agility, and scalability for its customers and employees. Central to the digital infrastructure strategy is Wells Fargo’s selection of two industry leaders as its public cloud providers: Microsoft Azure as its primary public cloud provider and Google Cloud providing additional business-critical public cloud services.

“Launching our new digital infrastructure strategy is a critical step in our multiyear journey to transform Wells Fargo, making it easier for customers to do business with us and creating a better working experience for our employees,” said Saul Van Beurden, Wells Fargo’s head of Technology. “The Wells Fargo of tomorrow will be digital-first and offer easier-to-use products and services, and all of that starts with driving speed, scalability, and enhanced user experience through the next generation digital infrastructure strategy we’re announcing today.”

Wells Fargo will leverage the Microsoft Azure platform to empower the creation of innovative solutions across all bank functions and provide a trusted and secure foundation for strategic business workloads. The two companies will partner to use critical data and analytics services to accelerate Wells Fargo’s digital transformation, including delivering enhanced customer experiences and enabling increased employee collaboration. Google Cloud will drive advanced workloads, and complex artificial intelligence and data solutions, allowing the company to move faster on driving personalized experiences for its customers and clients.

An integral part of the digital infrastructure strategy is a secure and compliant cloud platform that will provide protections to safeguard the data, privacy, and financial assets of Wells Fargo’s customers, with a focus on data confidentiality.

“Wells Fargo and Microsoft have a longstanding relationship, and we are excited to build on that foundation to accelerate Wells Fargo’s digital transformation journey,” said Judson Althoff, Microsoft’s Chief Commercial Officer. “Microsoft Azure is empowering financial services institutions with its secure, compliant, and scalable platform for industry cloud solutions needs, including for advanced and complex workloads. By standardizing on the Microsoft cloud and trusting Azure as its most strategic and primary cloud platform across all lines of business, Wells Fargo will be able to advance its key business and technology transformation priorities across core areas like managing risk and control, personalized banking, and the digital branch of the future.”

“We’re proud to support Wells Fargo on its multi-cloud journey, with artificial intelligence and data solutions that will not only transform the business but also power the future of personalized experiences for its customers and clients,” said Rob Enslin, president, Google Cloud. “Google Cloud is committed to providing financial institutions with cloud technology that empowers banks to evolve, and to create digital experiences that customers demand.”

As an additional element of the new digital infrastructure strategy, Wells Fargo will transition to a set of third-party-owned data centers, while the company’s longer-term aspirations are to rely predominantly on public cloud. These facilities will complement the public cloud offerings of Microsoft and Google Cloud with both private cloud and traditional hosting services to create a secure, resilient, and flexible technology foundation for the company’s transformation.

About Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a leading financial services company that has approximately $1.9 trillion in assets, proudly serves one in three U.S. households and more than 10% of small businesses in the U.S., and is the leading middle market banking provider in the U.S. We provide a diversified set of banking, investment, and mortgage products and services, as well as consumer and commercial finance, through our four reportable operating segments: Consumer Banking and Lending, Commercial Banking, Corporate and Investment Banking, and Wealth & Investment Management. Wells Fargo ranked No. 37 on Fortune’s 2021 rankings of America’s largest corporations. In the communities we serve, the company focuses its social impact on building a sustainable, inclusive future for all by supporting housing affordability, small business growth, financial health, and a low-carbon economy. News, insights, and perspectives from Wells Fargo are also available at Wells Fargo Stories.

Additional information may be found at www.wellsfargo.com | Twitter: @WellsFargo.

Cincinnati Bell Inc. Acquisition by Macquarie Infrastructure Partners V Finalized in $2.9 Billion Transaction

Source: Business Wire

CINCINNATI–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Cincinnati Bell Inc. today announced the completion of its acquisition by Macquarie Infrastructure Partners V (“MIP”), an Americas-focused unlisted infrastructure fund managed by Macquarie Asset Management (“MAM”). The $2.9 billion transaction will accelerate Cincinnati Bell’s fiber build across its operating footprint, and support strategic investments in the company’s IT Services businesses throughout North America.

Leigh Fox, President and Chief Executive Officer of Cincinnati Bell, said the transaction close marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter in the company’s nearly 150-year history.

“Our partnership with MIP is tremendous news for Cincinnati Bell’s 4,700 employees, our customers, and the communities we serve,” Fox said. “MIP has deep telecommunications expertise and a strong track record of investing in capital intensive businesses, which will be critical as we deliver on our strategy to drive next generation, integrated communications through an expanded fiber network as well as our IT services platform.”

Anton Moldan, Senior Managing Director with MAM, said that Cincinnati Bell’s expansion plans will play an essential role in building digital equity within their service territories.

“We are incredibly excited to partner with the experienced management team at Cincinnati Bell to continue to build out a high bandwidth fiber to the premise network for consumers, enterprises, and carriers, as well as to support the growth of their market leading IT services platform,” Moldan said. “Cincinnati Bell provides the communities they serve with vital network connectivity, and we’re looking forward to supporting their expansion plans to bring fiber throughout their market.”

Entertainment and Communications

Cincinnati Bell and Hawaiian Telcom are committed to creating digital equity through ongoing investments in fiber, a future-proof technology that enables gigabit Internet. Today, Cincinnati Bell and Hawaiian Telcom cover 60 percent of Greater Cincinnati, and 40 percent of Hawaiʻi, with Fiber-to-the-Premise technology, making those regions among the most fiber-dense metropolitan areas in the United States.

Cincinnati Bell’s partnership with MIP will allow the company to expand the fiber network at an accelerated pace over the next three years and make high-speed Internet available throughout its operating territories. Cincinnati Bell will also continue its commitment to continuous innovation. The company in 2014 became the first Internet Service Provider in Greater Cincinnati to offer 1 gigabit Internet, and earlier this year became the first Internet Service Provider to introduce 2 gigabit speeds in the market.

IT Services and Hardware

Over the past four years, Cincinnati Bell’s IT Services businesses – CBTS – has grown from a regional IT provider into an international organization that supports customers across the globe, with offices located throughout the United States, Canada, India, and Europe. CBTS serves clients in all industries and has partnerships with Fortune 500 clients, large healthcare organizations, multiple universities, and state and local governmental agencies.

The transaction with MIP will provide CBTS with increased flexibility to make strategic investments in its Communications, Cloud, Consulting Services, Security, and Infrastructure practices. The transaction will also support CBTS’ ongoing investments to attract and develop talented IT professionals who are critical in order for the company to continue supporting its existing enterprise customers, and to attract new customers through continuous technology innovation.

Continued Commitment to the Community

Cincinnati Bell has been part of the communities it serves in Greater Cincinnati and Hawaiʻi for nearly 150 years. The company and its employees routinely donate more than $2 million every year toward economic development, health, and education initiatives. To date, Cincinnati Bell and Hawaiian Telcom have connected more than 7,000 students who previously lacked Internet to support remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. The company’s Employee Volunteer Program allows employees to volunteer up to 40 hours every year during work hours in their communities. And Cincinnati Bell’s Smart City organization – UniCity – is partnering with local governments and government entities to provide high-speed Internet access to communities, as well as applications that help customers leverage that connectivity to better serve constituents.

Fox said the transaction with MIP will further strengthen Cincinnati Bell’s community engagement efforts.

“MIP deeply appreciates Cincinnati Bell’s commitment to supporting the community that supports us. You can expect continued leadership from Cincinnati Bell with respect to regional initiatives including digital equity, economic development, and improved access to education and healthcare,” Fox said. “Our company is excited to begin this new chapter as we create true digital equity through our investment in fiber, and partner with our business customers through investments in cutting-edge technologies.”

About Cincinnati Bell Inc.

With headquarters in Cincinnati, Ohio, Cincinnati Bell Inc. delivers integrated communications solutions to residential and business customers over its fiber-optic and copper networks including high-speed internet, video, voice and data. Cincinnati Bell provides service in areas of Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana and Hawai’i. In addition, enterprise customers across the United States and Canada rely on CBTS and OnX, wholly-owned subsidiaries, for efficient, scalable office communications systems and end-to-end IT solutions. For more information, please visit www.cincinnatibell.com. The information on the Company’s website is not incorporated by reference in this press release.

QTS Realty Trust Stockholders Approve Acquisition by Blackstone Funds

QTS Realty Trust (NYSE: QTS) (“QTS” or “the Company”) today announced that, at a Special Meeting of Stockholders held earlier today, QTS stockholders voted to approve the acquisition of QTS by affiliates of Blackstone Infrastructure Partners, Blackstone Real Estate Income Trust, Inc. and Blackstone Property Partners.

“I thank our stockholders for their strong support of the transformative transaction with Blackstone, which will provide compelling, immediate and certain value to stockholders and position QTS to better serve customers’ expanding data center infrastructure needs,” said Chad Williams, Chairman and CEO of QTS. “With this significant milestone now behind us, we look forward to completing the transaction with Blackstone.”

Under the terms of the merger agreement announced on June 7, 2021, QTS common stockholders will receive $78.00 in cash for each share of QTS common stock they own. Subject to the satisfaction or waiver of all of the conditions to the closing of the transaction in the merger agreement, the transaction is expected to be completed on August 31, 2021. Upon closing of the transaction, QTS’ common stock, Series A preferred stock and Series B preferred stock will no longer be listed on any public market.

The final voting results will be reported in a Current Report on Form 8-K to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission after certification by QTS’ inspector of elections.

About QTS
QTS Realty Trust, Inc. (NYSE: QTS) is a leading provider of data center solutions across a diverse footprint spanning more than 7 million square feet of owned mega scale data center space within North America and Europe. Through its software-defined technology platform, QTS is able to deliver secure, compliant infrastructure solutions, robust connectivity and premium customer service to leading hyperscale technology companies, enterprises, and government entities. Visit QTS at www.qtsdatacenters.com, call toll-free 877.QTS.DATA or follow on Twitter @DataCenters_QTS.

About Blackstone
Blackstone is the world’s largest alternative asset manager. We seek to create positive economic impact and long-term value for our investors, the companies we invest in, and the communities in which we work. We do this by using extraordinary people and flexible capital to help companies solve problems. Our $684 billion in assets under management include investment vehicles focused on private equity, real estate, public debt and equity, life sciences, growth equity, opportunistic, non-investment grade credit, real assets and secondary funds, all on a global basis. Further information is available at www.blackstone.com. Follow Blackstone on Twitter @Blackstone.

Source: PR Newswire

D9 Infrastructure raises £175 million for potential digital infrastructure acquisitions

Source: Data Center Dynamics

Company looking to acquires data centers, fiber, and subsea cable over next 12 months

UK investment trust D9 Infrastructure has raised £175 million ($246.7 million) to boost its acquisition ambitions.

In May the company said it was offering a placing of new ordinary shares and aiming to raise £100 million ($141 million). This week the company said the fundraise was over-subscribed, and the company had raised a total of £175 million. The company plans to use the money to acquire more digital assets.

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“We are delighted with how this fundraise has performed. To see such significant support from both existing shareholders and new investors highlights the strength of the investment opportunity in digital infrastructure and reaffirms the Company’s investment strategy,” said Jack Waters, Chair of Digital 9 Infrastructure. “Coming a relatively short time after our initial IPO, it is reassuring to see such a positive reaction from the market.”

D9 raised £300 million ($422.9 million) on its IPO at the end of March this year, and shortly afterwards the company acquired subsea cable owner Aqua Comms for £160 million ($215 million).

Aqua Comms owns and operates two transatlantic cables, AEC-1 and AEC-2, plus CeltixConnect-1.

D9’s investment manager is Triple Point Investment Management LLP, which has said it sees potential to close £600 million ($845.8 million) of opportunities within the next 12 months.

The company is looking to acquire a number of data centers in the US, UK, and northern Europe, as well as UK terrestrial fiber platforms, a UK wireless infrastructure business reported to be small-cell provider Ontix, and make further investments in subsea fiber.

Triple Point has also reportedly identified some £2 billion ($2.82 billion) in proprietary development and operational investment opportunities.

QTS Realty Trust to Be Acquired by Blackstone Funds in $10 Billion Transaction

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. and NEW YORKJune 7, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — QTS Realty Trust (NYSE: QTS) (“QTS” or “the Company”) and Blackstone (NYSE: BX), today announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Blackstone Infrastructure Partners, Blackstone Real Estate Income Trust, Inc. and other long-term perpetual capital vehicles managed by Blackstone will acquire all outstanding shares of common stock of QTS Realty Trust for $78.00 per share in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $10 billion1, including the assumption of debt. The purchase price represents a premium of 21% to QTS’ closing share price as of June 4, 2021 and a 24% premium to the volume weighted average share price over the last 90 days. The transaction was unanimously approved by the QTS Board of Directors and is expected to close in the second half of 2021.

Blackstone’s interest in acquiring QTS and its commitment to investing in its platform is a testament to the QTS team’s success in building a leading data center company. Blackstone’s expertise, resources and consistent access to capital will support QTS’ growth and help expand the reach of its data center solutions supporting new and existing customers. Upon completion of the transaction, the parties expect that QTS will continue to be led by its senior management team and maintain its corporate headquarters in Overland Park, Kansas.

“We are pleased to enter into this transaction with Blackstone, as it will deliver compelling, immediate and certain value to stockholders while positioning QTS to continue supporting customers’ expanding data center infrastructure needs,” said Philip Trahanas, Lead Director of the QTS Board of Directors. “The QTS Board regularly reviews the Company’s strategy and market opportunities to maximize stockholder value, and we are confident this transaction achieves that objective.”

“QTS is powered by its people and continues to set a new standard for service delivery in the data center industry,” said Chad Williams, Chairman and CEO of QTS. “We see a significant market opportunity for growth as hyperscale customers and enterprises continue to leverage our world-class infrastructure to support their digital transformation initiatives. We are confident this transaction is the right step to achieve our strategic objectives in our next phase of growth. I want to thank each of our QTS employees for their continued dedication to a culture of service to others, which has positioned QTS to enter into this transformative transaction.”

“We are delighted to back QTS and its world-class management team as they continue to scale the company to meet the rising demand for data centers. QTS aligns with one of Blackstone’s highest conviction themes – data proliferation – and the required investment makes it well suited as a long-term holding for our perpetual capital vehicles. We are committed to a strong, lasting partnership, leveraging Blackstone’s scale, reach, resources and access to capital to drive long-term growth at QTS,” said Greg Blank, Senior Managing Director, Blackstone Infrastructure Partners.

“We are focused on investing in assets that are benefitting from strong, secular tailwinds, such as the rapid digitalization of data. QTS is a leading provider of data center solutions with a portfolio of high-quality assets in desirable markets, positioning it well to capitalize on these powerful trends in the data center space. We believe the vast expertise across our business will enable the QTS platform to succeed over the long-term,” said Tyler Henritze, Head of Acquisitions Americas for Blackstone Real Estate.

Transaction Terms, Timing and Approvals

The definitive merger agreement includes a 40-day “go-shop” period that will expire on July 17, 2021, subject to extension under certain circumstances, which permits QTS and its representatives to actively solicit and consider alternative acquisition proposals. QTS has the right to terminate the definitive merger agreement with Blackstone to enter into a superior proposal subject to certain terms and conditions of the definitive merger agreement. There can be no assurance that this process will result in a superior proposal, and QTS does not intend to disclose developments with respect to the go-shop process unless and until it determines such disclosure is appropriate or is otherwise required.

The transaction with Blackstone is expected to close in the second half of 2021, subject to approval by QTS’ stockholders and the satisfaction of other customary closing conditions.

Subject to and upon completion of the transaction, QTS’ common stock will no longer be listed on the New York Stock Exchange. QTS will be jointly owned by Blackstone Infrastructure Partners and Blackstone Real Estate Income Trust (“BREIT”).

Advisors
Jefferies LLC and Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC are acting as financial advisors to QTS, and Hogan Lovells US LLP and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP are acting as legal counsel to QTS. Citigroup Global Markets Inc., Barclays, Deutsche Bank Securities Inc., Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC and J.P. Morgan Securities LLC are acting as financial advisors to Blackstone, and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP is acting as its legal counsel.

About QTS
QTS Realty Trust, Inc. (NYSE: QTS) is a leading provider of data center solutions across a diverse footprint spanning more than 7 million square feet of owned mega scale data center space within North America and Europe. Through its software-defined technology platform, QTS is able to deliver secure, compliant infrastructure solutions, robust connectivity and premium customer service to leading hyperscale technology companies, enterprises, and government entities. Visit QTS at www.qtsdatacenters.com, call toll-free 877.QTS.DATA or follow on Twitter @DataCenters_QTS.

About Blackstone 
Blackstone is one of the world’s leading investment firms. We seek to create positive economic impact and long-term value for our investors, the companies we invest in, and the communities in which we work. We do this by using extraordinary people and flexible capital to help companies solve problems. Our $649 billion in assets under management include investment vehicles focused on private equity, real estate, public debt and equity, life sciences, growth equity, opportunistic, non-investment grade credit, real assets and secondary funds, all on a global basis. Further information is available at www.blackstone.com. Follow Blackstone on Twitter @Blackstone.

Neuberger Berman Next Generation Connectivity Fund Announces $1.5 Billion Initial Public Offering

Source: PR Newswire

NEW YORKMay 26, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Neuberger Berman Next Generation Connectivity Fund Inc. (the “Fund”), a newly organized closed-end fund, announced today the initial public offering of its shares of common stock. The Fund began trading today on the NYSE under the symbol “NBXG.” The Fund has raised $1.5 billion in proceeds, agreeing to sell 75,000,000 shares of common stock at a price of $20.00 per share.  In addition, the Fund has granted the underwriters an option to purchase up to 10,766,733 additional shares of common stock at the public offering price. If the underwriters exercise their option to buy additional shares in full, which may or may not occur, the Fund will have raised approximately $1.715 billion.  The offering is expected to close on May 28, 2021, subject to customary closing conditions.

“We believe the development and deployment of the digital infrastructure that will serve as the backbone for new technologies presents an enormous investment opportunity. The fifth generation (5G) and future generations of mobile networks , and their unique ability to enable device-to-device communication, has the potential to unlock tremendous commercial opportunities, including the expanding use of autonomous vehicles, increasing the productivity and automation of factories, and improving connected health care, such as remote care and surgery,” said Hari Ramanan, CIO, Neuberger Berman Research Funds, and one of the Fund’s portfolio managers.

In pursuit of its investment objectives of capital appreciation and income, the Fund will invest, under normal market conditions, at least 80% of its total assets in equity securities issued by U.S. and non-U.S. companies, in any market capitalization range, that are relevant to the theme of investing in “NextGen Companies.” The Fund considers “NextGen Companies” to be companies that, in its adviser’s view, demonstrate significant growth potential from the development, advancement, use or sale of products, processes or services related to the fifth generation (5G) mobile network and future generations of mobile network connectivity and technology.  The Fund’s adviser is Neuberger Berman Investment Adviser LLC and the adviser’s experienced investment team, located in the U.S. and Asia, manage over $10 billion in next generation connectivity assets, including the proceeds of this offering.

About Neuberger Berman

Neuberger Berman, founded in 1939, is a private, independent, employee-owned investment manager. The firm manages a range of strategies—including equity, fixed income, quantitative and multi-asset class, private equity, real estate and hedge funds—on behalf of institutions, advisors and individual investors globally. With offices in 25 countries, Neuberger Berman’s diverse team has over 2,300 professionals. For seven consecutive years, the company has been named first or second in Pensions & Investments Best Places to Work in Money Management survey (among those with 1,000 employees or more). In 2020, the PRI named Neuberger Berman a Leader, a designation awarded to fewer than 1% of investment firms for excellence in Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) practices. The PRI also awarded Neuberger Berman an A+ in every eligible category for our approach to ESG integration across asset classes. The firm manages $402 billion in client assets as of March 31, 2021. For more information, please visit our website at www.nb.com.

Gravis launches digital infrastructure fund

Gravis Advisory Limited, a subsidiary of infrastructure and real estate investment specialist Gravis Capital Management Limited, has launched the VT Gravis Digital Infrastructure Income Fund (‘the Fund’) the firm’s fourth OEIC and a unique addition to its existing range.

The Fund will be managed by Gravis’ Director of Real Estate Securities, Matthew Norris and will invest in companies which own physical infrastructure assets vital to the digital economy, including data centres, telecom towers, fibre optic cable companies, logistics warehouses, and the digitalisation of transportation.

In line with the existing Gravis range, the new fund is expected to deliver capital growth by investing through market cycles in global listed securities including real estate investment trusts, equities, and bonds. It will target an annual dividend yield of 3 per cent.

Norris says: “The growth of the digital economy has moved rapidly in recent years and it now underpins huge swathes of our lives. What is taking place, largely out of the public eye, should be regarded as the fourth industrial revolution. It is almost impossible to function effectively, either in a private or business capacity, without access to the connected digital world, and the digitalisation of society is transforming the face of traditional sectors of the economy. To support the explosion in demand for connectivity, physical infrastructure assets are required, and behind the headlines a vast new infrastructure sector has been developing to support and sustain the new digital economy. The global pandemic has only hastened the transition to a digital economy, in some areas accelerating growth by five years versus expectations.”

William MacLeod, Managing Director of Gravis Advisory Limited, says: “We’re thrilled to be launching our fourth Gravis OEIC, investing in a vital but largely unrecognised sector of the global economy, and one which is growing at an extraordinary pace. We intend to invest in the companies that form not just the backbone, but the entire skeleton of our day-to-day business and home lives. The infrastructure which supports the digital world has become absolutely critical to us all, ensuring we are able to keep operating smoothly and efficiently, wherever we are.”

The Fund will launch with an offer period which will run from 4–31 May 2021, with the Fund officially launching on the 31 May 2021.

Source: PropertyFundsWorld.com

Diamond Communications to Acquire Melody Wireless Infrastructure For $1.625B

Diamond Communications LLC and Sculptor Capital Management, Inc. (NYSE: SCU) yesterday announced that they have entered into a definitive Stock Purchase Agreement to acquire Melody Wireless Infrastructure, Inc.(MWI). MWI is a private U.S. REIT that owns a portfolio of approximately 2,300 tenanted wireless communication sites. These sites include a combination of rooftop installations, communication towers and ground leases under communication towers located throughout the U.S. in all fifty states.

Steven Orbuch, President of Sculptor Real Estate (SRE), Diamond’s long-time partner and founding shareholder, said, “We are excited to be continuing our 15-year relationship with Diamond, investing in the wireless infrastructure sector, and we commend the Melody team on the quality of the assets that they have assembled.”

“Melody has built a great company with a diverse group of assets,” said Ed Farscht, Diamond’s Chief Executive Officer. “This transaction is transformational for our business and will further solidify Diamond’s position as one of the largest privately held wireless infrastructure companies in the United States. The Melody assets complement Diamond’s existing portfolio and positions Diamond to drive long-term organic growth and significantly enhance our customer relationships. We are also excited to build on our relationship with Sculptor, which has supported Diamond from our founding in 2006.”

Omar Jaffrey, a co-founder of Melody, who led Melody’s efforts, said, “I am pleased that we have found a great home with Diamond and Sculptor for an exceptional pool of wireless infrastructure assets and business that we built over seven years while delivering great value for our investors.”

The closing of the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to be consummated by June 2021. The purchase price is for $1.625 billion, subject to certain adjustments and other conditions of the Stock Purchase Agreement.

Source: InsideTowers.com

Digital Alpha Announces Closing of Second Digital Infrastructure Fund at Over $1 Billion

Source: PR Newswire

SAN FRANCISCOApril 20, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Digital Alpha Advisors (“Digital Alpha”), a leading digital infrastructure investment firm, today announced the closing of Digital Alpha Fund II, L.P. (the “Fund” or “Fund II”), over its initial hard cap with over $1 billion in commitments. The Fund was oversubscribed and continues the same successful strategy of investing in digital infrastructure assets, companies and revenue share arrangements as Digital Alpha Fund I, L.P. (“Fund I”), formed in 2017. Digital Alpha will also continue the successful strategic partnership it has had with Cisco since the firm’s founding, which includes preferred access to Cisco’s deal flow, engineering and sales resources, as well as access to Cisco’s broader ecosystem of channel partners and resellers. In addition, Digital Alpha is proud to cultivate strategic partnerships with other Silicon Valley technology leaders, with whom it has already executed deals in Fund I and Fund II.

As a pioneer of the digital infrastructure category since launching in 2017, the Fund will maintain its core focus of investing in operating companies and revenue share deals across three key verticals: next-gen networks (5G infrastructure investment and Wi-Fi 6 solutions globally), cloud computing and IoT-enabled smart city solutions. The mission critical infrastructure layer where Digital Alpha invests sits above the commodity layer of radio masts, fiber cables and data centers and supports the consumption layer, which is focused on digital content, apps and devices. The Fund will seek to build out a diverse portfolio of approximately a dozen “anti-fragile” investments with resilient business models in leading operating companies and related yield-oriented revenue share structures.

“We’re thrilled to announce the close of our second digital infrastructure fund to support the growth of the digital economy. We’re proud of the role our investments play in providing secure connectivity for private and public sector stakeholders during the pandemic. In addition, the strong interest we’ve had from existing and new institutional investors globally is testament to our team’s expertise, the quality of our strategic relationships and our proven track record of value creation. We’ve already deployed a significant amount of capital into differentiated and high-quality deals, and we look forward to actioning the rich opportunity set our team of experts has identified in the high-growth verticals driving digital transformation,” said Rick Shrotri, Founder & Managing Partner.

To date, the Fund has committed approximately $300 million across three deals. The first deal of the Fund created a novel network edge solution with Cisco, Qwilt, and British Telecom; this innovative outcome based financing is scaling with telecom and cable operators in markets worldwide. The Fund also recently made a $185 million investment commitment to network access provider WeLink Communications to help expand their fixed-wireless broadband footprint across the US. Finally, in March the Fund committed $100 million in outcome-based financing to fund digital infrastructure for communities across the US with Sharecare—a leading digital health platform.

Digital Alpha’s seasoned investment team is led by Rick Shrotri, Founder & Managing Partner, and Vasa Babic, Partner. Mr. Shrotri is a 10-year Cisco veteran who devised the funding model employed by the Fund during his time as Head of Business Acceleration at Cisco. As of the Fund II launch, he has collaborated with Vasa Babic on a series of market shaping deals over nearly a decade. Digital Alpha’s diverse team has deep investing and industry experience and is supported by an internal Cisco unit called the Global Infrastructure Funds (GIF) team that was created by Mr. Shrotri while he was at Cisco.

Investors in the Fund include sovereign wealth funds, pension funds, endowments & foundations, consultants, and health systems primarily from North AmericaEurope and the Middle East. Digital Alpha enjoyed a re-up rate on a dollar basis of over 100% from Fund I.

NOTES TO EDITORS

About Digital Alpha Advisors
Digital Alpha Advisors, LLC is an investment firm focused on digital infrastructure and services required by the digital economy, with a strategic collaboration agreement with Cisco Systems, Inc. As part of this agreement, Digital Alpha has preferred access to Cisco’s pipeline of commercial opportunities requiring equity financing. Digital Alpha believes that it is the first firm focused on making private equity investments in the significant growth opportunities required to underpin the Digital Economy, including smart cities, next generation broadband networks, and enterprise data management and communication solutions. Digital Alpha is headquartered in Henderson, NV, with offices in San Francisco and London, and was founded by Rick Shrotri, former Head of the Global Infrastructure Funds (GIF) team at Cisco. For more information, please visit www.digitalalpha.net.

HORIZON ACQUIRES INFINITY FIBER, LLC

Source: Horizon Connects

COLUMBUS, Ohio – March 2, 2021 – Horizon has acquired Infinity Fiber, LLC, anchoring the continued expansion strategy into Indiana. The acquisition provides connectivity to multiple data centers in Indiana and augments Horizon’s existing fiber infrastructure in downtown Indianapolis and Bloomington, Indiana.

Infinity Fiber’s long-haul network adds about 450 route miles to Horizon’s existing 4,500 miles of fiber. Horizon can now offer connectivity on a unique fiber route from Chicago’s 350 E. Cermak data center to South Bend, Indiana and Indianapolis, which will tie back to Horizon’s fiber backbone in Columbus, Ohio.

“Horizon is excited about acquiring Infinity Fiber to further cement our market expansion plan for Indiana,” said Jim Capuano, Chief Executive Officer for Horizon. “The Infinity network complements our existing fiber assets in the Indianapolis market, while also providing native connectivity to the region’s data centers. The combined network assets accelerate our plans for Indiana significantly. Our aggressive strategy for expansion and innovation is what has made us a premier fiber-optic broadband partner, and we continue to take the next steps to grow our high-quality, highly reliable services across the Midwest.”

Horizon will be offering speeds up to 400 Gbps, and soon, 800 Gbps across its entire network, including connectivity to Chicago and data centers in between, for carrier and enterprise customers, along with fiber connectivity in and around buildings throughout downtown Indianapolis.

“This unique asset is a game changer for our presence in Indiana,” commented Glenn Lytle, Chief Revenue Officer for Horizon. “We’ll be able to better serve our wholesale and carrier partners with a unique fiber route from Columbus, Ohio through Indianapolis to Chicago, as well as offer downtown Indianapolis enterprise customers direct cloud connectivity, Internet, Ethernet, and Hosted Voice products over our first-class fiber network.”

The acquisition has closed, and Horizon anticipates the network to be ready for services by Q2 2021. Partners looking to inquire about the network or services available are encouraged to visit HorizonConnects.com or email FiberSalesLeads@HorizonConnects.com.

ABOUT HORIZON

Horizon is a facilities-based, fiber-optic broadband service provider based in Ohio with expanding services across the Midwest. Operating 5,000 route miles of fiber, Horizon provides high-quality connectivity solutions for small to large enterprise and wholesale carrier customers, where high-reliability and high availability are critical.

The extensive network offers high speed Ethernet, Dedicated Internet Access, Hosted Voice and UCaaS, dark fiber, wavelength, and data center connectivity services. Horizon partners with carriers, government, healthcare, education, and enterprise businesses offering flexible and customizable fiber network solutions with a remarkable commitment to customer care and cutting-edge fiber-optic technology. For more information, visit horizonconnects.com.

ABOUT NOVACAP
Founded in 1981, Novacap is a leading Canadian private equity firm with $2.6 billion of assets under management. The firm’s unique investment approach, based on deep operational expertise and an active partnership with entrepreneurs, has helped accelerate growth and create long-term value for its numerous investee companies. With an experienced management team and substantial financial resources, Novacap is well positioned to continue building world-class companies. For more information, please visit www.novacap.ca