Ridgemont Equity Partners said Thursday it has acquired Cortel Inc and TowerCom Technologies LLC. Financial terms weren’t announced. Both Cortel and TowerCom provide wireless deployment services throughout the western United States. Ridgemont said it formed J5 Infrastructure Partners, created through the combination of Cortel and TowerCom, to perform site acquisition, leasing, permitting, zoning, structural engineering, utility coordination and equipment installation services directly to all four of the top wireless carriers in the U.S. SR Capital Advisors is a coinvestor. SunTrust Robinson Humphrey and provided by SunTrust Bank, MUFG Union Bank N.A. and U.S. Bank provided debt financing. Alston & Bird LLP were Ridgemont’s attorney.
Dallas, TX (January 7, 2016) – Ridgemont Equity Partners, a middle market buyout and growth equity investor, today announced the formation of J5 Infrastructure Partners (“J5” or the “Company”). J5 is a telecommunications infrastructure service company created through a combination of Cortel Inc. (“Cortel”) and TowerCom Technologies LLC (“TowerCom”), two leaders in wireless deployment services throughout the western United States. J5 will be headquartered in Orange County, California, and led by industry veteran, Jerry Elliott, who will serve as CEO. SR Capital Advisors, a private investment firm, is a co-investor in this transaction. Debt financing, including additional capital for additional acquisitions, was arranged by SunTrust Robinson Humphrey and provided by SunTrust Bank, MUFG Union Bank N.A. and U.S. Bank.
Through Cortel and TowerCom, J5 performs site acquisition, leasing, permitting, zoning, structural engineering, utility coordination and equipment installation services directly to all four of the top wireless carriers in the U.S. as well as tower and other infrastructure owners and state and local governments. J5’s growth strategy will include the incorporation of additional services to form a broader offering to both wireless and wireline network operators and the densification of its presence in the western region of the U.S. Through both organic growth and selective acquisition, the Company will increase its scope, scale and local knowledge expertise to better serve its customers. Jerry Elliott brings a clear vision for J5 and extensive operational expertise through past leadership roles at Leap/Cricket Wireless, Global Signal and Frontier Communications.
“I am very pleased to be partnering with Ridgemont, SR Capital and existing management to form J5,” said Jerry Elliott, CEO of J5. “There is a tremendous opportunity for growth in telecom infrastructure services and we intend to leverage the deep subject matter knowledge of the great teams at Cortel and TowerCom to identify new complementary services and markets. Our team will build a larger business through both organic growth and additional acquisitions and, most importantly, will continue leading the industry in quality of service.”
“Ridgemont has been committed to investing in telecommunications infrastructure since the early 1990s,” said Kurt Leedy, Principal at Ridgemont. “We have experience with towers, distributed network systems, metro fiber and a range of other telecom infrastructure business, and we continue to believe in the long-term opportunities driven by the exponential creation of digital data and the need to transport it at high speeds. The creation of the J5 platform is another exciting way to capitalize on this long-term trend through a service-based model. We look forward to working closely with Jerry, SR Capital and others on the board and management team to execute our expansion strategy for J5.”
Alston & Bird LLP served as legal counsel to Ridgemont.
J5 Infrastructure Partners, through Cortel and TowerCom, performs site acquisition, leasing, permitting, zoning, structural engineering, utility coordination and equipment installation services directly to all four of the top wireless carriers in the U.S. as well as tower and other infrastructure owners and state and local governments. The company was created through a combination of Cortel Inc. and TowerCom Technologies LLC, and is headquartered in Orange County, California. www.j5ip.com
About Ridgemont Equity Partners
Ridgemont Equity Partners is a Charlotte-based middle market buyout and growth equity investor. Since 1993, the principals of Ridgemont have invested approximately $3.5 billion in 126 companies. The firm focuses on investments of $25 million to $100 million in industries in which it has deep expertise, including basic industries and services, energy, healthcare, and telecommunications/media/technology.
About SR Capital Advisors
SR Capital Advisors is a New York-based independent sponsor of private equity investments. Since 1995, the principals of SR Capital have been responsible for over $600 million in private equity investments across 30 companies. The firm focuses on investments in the media, telecommunications, health care and business services sectors. www.sr-capital.com.