Crown Capital Partners acquires network operator WireIE


© WireIE 2019

Crown Capital Partners has acquired WireIE Holdings International Inc, a Richmond, Ontario-based network operator that specializes in deploying and managing carrier-grade data networks in under-served markets.

Crown, a Canadian specialty finance firm, said it acquired all the debt and equity of WireIE for a nominal amount on closing and a performance-based earn-out payment of up to $5 million.

Last year, Crown provided a $10 million income streaming facility to WireIE. It said it has invested $7.6 million to date and will provide additional capital as required to fund future growth in Canada and abroad.

WireIE will continue to be led by President and CEO Rob Barlow, who co-founded the business in 2007.

WireIE was formerly backed by Canadian venture capital firm Covington Funds.

PRESS RELEASE

Crown Capital Partners Announces Acquisition of WireIE

Creates new platform for revenue growth and diversification for Crown

Provides WireIE with strengthened financial foundation to expand services and customer base

CALGARY, July 15, 2019 /CNW/ – Crown Capital Partners Inc. (“Crown” or the “Corporation”) (TSX: CRWN), a capital partner to entrepreneurs and growth businesses, today announced it has completed a transaction (the “Transaction”) to acquire WireIE Holdings International Inc. (“WireIE”), an Ontario-based network operator that specializes in the deployment and management of carrier-grade data networks across Canada and internationally to underserved communities.

Pursuant to the Transaction, Crown has acquired all the debt and equity of WireIE for a nominal amount on closing and a performance-based earn-out payment of up to $5 million. Crown had previously provided an income streaming facility to WireIE in July 2018 to support the company’s expansion. Crown has invested $7.6 million to date and will provide additional capital as required to fund future growth.

“WireIE generates high-quality, recurring cash flows through the development of carrier-grade data networks,” said Chris Johnson, President & CEO of Crown. “We’re delighted to expand our relationship with WireIE and welcome it to the Crown platform. The data network industry is rapidly growing and capital-intensive, and we view this industry as a new avenue for revenue growth and diversification for Crown, building on our special situations and power segments. In addition to direct investments such as WireIE, there is an opportunity to develop a third-party fund targeting this market.”

The WireIE executive team will remain in place to direct the continued growth of the company, led by its founder, President & CEO, Rob Barlow.

“Crown is a highly experienced, well-established specialty finance company, and this new ownership structure will enhance our ability to access capital to expand geographically, while continuing to deliver trusted, reliable, secure and certified networks to underserved enterprises and communities,” said Rob Barlow. “This is an exciting new chapter for WireIE.”

About WireIE
Founded in 2007, WireIE builds, owns, and operates the data networks for its blue-chip customers in the telecom carrier, oil and gas, utility, and government industries. WireIE’s core value proposition is to provide carriers with the ability to deliver high-quality network services to their commercial customers in underserved areas without having to build and manage circuits. WireIE has partnerships with Canada’s leading national carriers. The company’s services address a large and growing need, with U.S. and Canadian government legislation mandating high-speed broadband as an essential service.

About Crown Capital Partners (TSX:CRWN)
Founded in 2000, Crown is a leading specialty finance company that provides growth capital to a diversified group of successful mid-market companies that are seeking alternatives to banks and private equity funds. Crown provides customized solutions in the form of loans, royalties, and other structures with minimal or no ownership dilution. In addition to deploying capital as a principal investor, Crown develops, manages and co-invests in alternative investment funds, including Crown Partners Fund and Crown Capital Power Fund.

For further information: Craig Armitage, Investor Relations, craig.armitage@crowncapital.ca, (416) 347-8954