GCM Grosvenor to buy stake in Novacap-backed Horizon

GCM Grosvenor has agreed to acquire a stake in Horizon, a Columbus, Ohio-based fiber-optic broadband company.

GCM Grosvenor has agreed to acquire a stake in Horizon, a Columbus, Ohio-based fiber-optic broadband company. GCM Grosvenor will invest through its labor impact strategy to join Horizon’s existing investor group led by Canadian private equity firm Novacap. No financial terms were disclosed. Novacap originally invested in the company in 2018.

PRESS RELEASE

COLUMBUS, Ohio – August 24, 2021 – Horizon, a fiber-optic broadband company based in Columbus, Ohio, announces today that it and its shareholders have entered into an agreement with GCM Grosvenor (NASDAQ: GCMG), a leading global alternative asset management solutions provider, to acquire a significant ownership stake of the company. GCM Grosvenor will invest through its Labor Impact Strategy and joins the existing investor group led by Novacap TMT, one of Canada’s leading private equity firms. With this new partner, Horizon will continue its growth strategy and dedication to providing fiber-based connectivity services to businesses, carriers and residential customers throughout Ohio and the greater Midwest region.

Horizon, which began as a local telephone company over 120 years ago, is a premier provider of fiber-optic bandwidth infrastructure services operating primarily in Ohio. Over the last decade, Horizon has grown its fiber network considerably and now services customers across the Midwest.

Today, Horizon continues on this trajectory of continuous growth, ensuring the evolving network needs of customers across the region are being powerfully met with robust, first-class solutions. Notably, Horizon has been launching Fiber to the Home (FTTH) initiatives, having recently completed an initial greenfield fiber build in Circleville, Ohio. Six more builds are currently in the works, and the company is continuing to seek out additional markets for development throughout the state. GCM Grosvenor’s investment, as well as its expertise in the telecom and fiber-optic infrastructure sector, will help propel Horizon to continue its network expansion and provide superior services to its customers throughout the region.

“With world-class partners such as Novacap and GCM Grosvenor at our side, Horizon has a significant advantage to continue on this path of growth and transformation,” says Jim Capuano, CEO of Horizon. “Our new partnership will allow us to enhance our services for our existing customers while pursuing new markets in the years ahead.”

“Since our investment in 2018, we have been very excited about Horizon’s growth to date. As we have supplemented the senior management team with other experienced telecom operators, the team has entered new markets and accelerated the growth of its broadband business. With an experienced investor like GCM Grosvenor as our new partner, we expect to continue growing throughout Ohio and the Midwest with the added ability to now provide fiber-based connectivity to residential customers,” notes Ted Mocarski, Chairperson of the Horizon Board of Directors and Senior Partner at Novacap TMT.

“GCM Grosvenor is excited to announce this investment in Horizon, a growing and well-positioned communications infrastructure provider with what we consider a significant competitive advantage in its region from both a cost and time-to-market perspective,” states Matthew Rinklin, Managing Director at GCM Grosvenor.

“We look forward to partnering with the outstanding investment team at Novacap and the experienced management team at Horizon, who we strongly believe will leverage their proven track record, operational excellence and focus on exceptional customer service to achieve greater market share going forward,” adds James DiMola, Executive Director at GCM Grosvenor.

Horizon and Novacap were represented in this transaction by Paul Hastings, LLP, and GCM Grosvenor was represented by Morgan Lewis & Bockius, LLP.

About Horizon
Horizon is a facilities-based, fiber-optic broadband service provider based in Ohio with expanding services across the Midwest. Operating 5,500+ 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.