Chicago-based private equity firm GTCR announced Monday that it is investing in bandwidth infrastructure provider Zayo Group to help finance the company’s acquisition of publicly traded AboveNet Inc. The acquisition is valued at $2.2 billion. Specific details of GTCR’s investment were not released.
GTCR, a leading Chicago-based private equity firm, announced today it will invest in Zayo Group, LLC (“Zayo”) to finance its pending acquisition of AboveNet, Inc. (NYSE: ABVT; “AboveNet”) for $84.00 per share of AboveNet common stock and a total transaction value of $2.2 billion. As part of the transaction, GTCR will partner with Chief Executive Officer Dan Caruso and other senior executives from Zayo. Mr. Caruso and his team founded Zayo in 2006 and have built a leading bandwidth infrastructure provider with an excellent value creation track record.
AboveNet is a leading pure-play provider of fiber infrastructure services to enterprise and carrier customers in the United States and Europe. The AboveNet and Zayo business models are closely aligned with a disciplined focus on high bandwidth fiber-based communications services. The combination will create value for customers, employees and investors with a fiber network spanning 60,000 route miles.
GTCR Principal, Philip Canfield said, “We have followed the progress of Dan and his leadership team at Zayo for some time and, together, we have been looking for opportunities to do acquisitions in the bandwidth infrastructure domain. Dan and his team have a long history of success and value creation and exemplify the traits and characteristics associated with the GTCR Leaders Strategy. We look forward to working with Dan and all of Zayo’s existing shareholders to build upon their past success in the bandwidth infrastructure domain.”
“GTCR’s impressive track record of partnering with leaders to build companies through growth and acquisitions combined with their domain expertise in technology makes them a perfect partner for Zayo,” commented Dan Caruso. “We are thrilled to have a new equity partner who shares our commitment to growing our business and providing vital bandwidth infrastructure to our customers.”
Latham & Watkins LLP served as legal counsel to GTCR. GTCR’s proposed equity investment to finance the transaction will be made from GTCR Fund X, a private equity fund raised in 2011 with $3.25 billion of committed capital.
Founded in 1980, GTCR is a leading private equity firm focused on investing in growth companies in the Financial Services & Technology, Healthcare and Information Services & Technology industries. The Chicago-based firm pioneered the “Leaders Strategy” – finding and partnering with management leaders as the critical first step in identifying, acquiring and building market-leading companies through acquisitions and organic growth. Since its inception, GTCR has invested more than $9 billion in over 200 companies. For more information, please visit www.gtcr.com.
About Zayo Group
Zayo Group is a national provider of fiber-based bandwidth infrastructure and network-neutral colocation and interconnection services. Zayo serves wireline and wireless carriers, data centers, internet content and services companies, high bandwidth enterprises as well as federal, state and local government agencies. Zayo provides these services over regional, metro, national and fiber-to-the-tower networks. Zayo’s network assets include over 45,000 route miles, covering 42 states plus Washington D.C. Additionally, Zayo has approximately 5,200 buildings and 2,300 cell towers on-net, and over 94,000 square feet of billable colocation space.