Searchlight Capital Partners has closed its previously announced acquisition of Frontier Communications’ Northwest operations and assets. The transaction was done in partnership with WaveDivision Capital LLC, the Public Sector Pension Investment Board, British Columbia Investment Management Corporation and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board. When the deal was first announced in May 2019, it was valued at US$1.352 billion with an additional US$500 million being invested in network and service improvements. Bank of America, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP advised WDC and Searchlight on the transaction.
New York – Searchlight Capital Partners, L.P. (“Searchlight” or “the Firm”), a leading global private investment firm, announced today that it completed the acquisition of the Northwest operations and assets of Frontier Communications (“Frontier”) in partnership with WaveDivision Capital, LLC, (“WDC”), the Public Sector Pension Investment Board (“PSP Investments”), British Columbia Investment Management Corporation (“BCI”) and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (“CPP Investments”).
The transaction, which was first announced on May 29, 2019, is valued at $1.352 billion with an additional $500 million being invested in network and service improvements from a total commitment of approximately $2.0 billion. This investment is expected to benefit the approximately 500,000 current residential and business internet, phone and TV subscribers across four states in the Northwest: Washington; Oregon; Idaho; and Montana.
The new company will operate as Ziply FiberTM, and will be headquartered in Kirkland, Washington. Ziply Fiber is led by Harold Zeitz (CEO), formerly the President of Wave Broadband. Steve Weed, the founder of WDC and former CEO of Wave Broadband, is Executive Chairman of Ziply Fiber.
“We are delighted to partner with Steve, Harold and the Ziply team to build a leading brand and broadband network in the Northwest of the U.S.,” said Eric Zinterhofer, Founding Partner of Searchlight. “Never has the demand for fast, reliable internet been greater than at this moment. We are focused on upgrading the network to predominantly all-fiber, which will enable Ziply to deliver best-in-class symmetrical speeds in its markets.”
Harold Zeitz, CEO of Ziply Fiber, said: “We are thrilled that Searchlight and their partners recognized the opportunity to bring a fiber-based, high performance network to the Northwest states that is purpose-built for the internet. We now have the capital and the partners to help us simplify and elevate the connectivity for our home and business customers.”
Steve Weed, Executive Chairman of Ziply Fiber, commented: “This group of investors not only provides long-term capital, they also bring strategic and operational expertise that will help us deliver on our mission to bring better internet to our customers. This focus on delivering superior service will enable us to create outstanding value for all stakeholders.”
WDC and Searchlight were advised by Bank of America, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP.