Spire Capital Backs Tarpon Towers

Tarpon Towers LLC, a Bradenton, Fla.-based wireless communications tower company, has raised $15 million in private equity funding from Spire Capital Partners. Tarpon has now raised over $50 million in equity funding — including from existing backer ABS Capital Partners — and a $30 million bank facility.


Tarpon Towers LLC, a wireless communications tower company, today announced it has received a $15 million equity commitment from Spire Capital Partners, a leading private investment fund focused on the communications, business services, information services and media sectors. As part of the Spire transaction, Andrew J. Armstrong, Jr., Managing Member at Spire Capital, will join Tarpon’s Board of Directors.

“Significant wireless infrastructure investment will be made by the wireless carriers over the foreseeable future to address increased wireless subscriber usage, specifically as a result from continued wireless substitution as well as the explosion of wireless data usage and the proliferation of bandwidth intensive wireless applications,” said Armstrong.  “Spire believes Tarpon is perfectly positioned to take advantage of this increased investment and is excited to partner with Tarpon’s talented and highly experienced management team as well as the Company’s existing institutional investor, ABS Capital.” Together with ABS Capital, Tarpon has secured over $50 million of equity and also has a $30 million bank facility with a prominent regional bank.

Tarpon owns 85 towers located in 14 states including Florida, North Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi, Texas, Michigan, Connecticut, New York and California.  The Company has over 200 new build sites in development and 25 tower sites under letter or purchase agreement throughout the US.  Tarpon plans to continue to work with local tower owners and developers to expand its communications tower portfolio.

“We are excited to have Spire Capital join the Tarpon family as we feel Spire’s extensive experience in the tower sector and strong industry relationships will be invaluable to Tarpon as we continue to build our business and create shareholder value,” stated Ronald Bizick, Tarpon’s Co-founder and CEO. William Freeman, Co-founder and President added, “Growth in our business is dependent on access to capital and we are seeing numerous opportunities to put capital to work at attractive returns. It’s great to have partners like Spire and ABS Capital as well as our bank behind us to ensure we are well funded for the foreseeable future.”

“Tarpon has experienced significant growth since our initial investment in June 2009 and continues to pursue numerous compelling tower opportunities. The addition of Spire Capital as another source of capital and its strong industry relationships will help Tarpon achieve its business plan,” added Deric Emry, General Partner at ABS Capital and a Tarpon board member.

About Tarpon Towers LLC

Tarpon Towers is a wireless communications infrastructure company focused on the acquisition and development of wireless communication towers. The management team has combined experience in acquiring over 8,000 sites, raising and investing over $3 billion in capital and building over 3,000 towers. Management has held executive positions at numerous companies in the wireless industry such as Global Signal, Inc, SBA Communications, Spectrasite Communications, Sprint, and Clearwire. For more information, please visit www.tarpontowers.com.

About Spire Capital Partners

Founded in 2000, Spire Capital is an active and experienced private equity firm with an investment focus in companies within the business services, information services, communications, and media sectors. Spire Capital does investments in its areas of expertise and believes its deep industry experience and network of relationships are invaluable in helping its portfolio companies to grow and succeed. Spire Capital currently has approximately $600 million in assets under management across two funds. For more information, visit www.spirecapital.com.

About ABS Capital Partners

ABS Capital Partners invests in the very best later-stage growth companies, partnering with CEOs to create a bridge to the next critical stage of success.  Whether success is defined as a winning IPO like American Public Education, NeuStar, and Rosetta Stone or a rewarding sale such as US Labs, Course Advisor and Advanced Disposal, ABS Capital’s financial backing and active partnership supports the CEO in tackling the challenges of rapid growth and creating significant long-term value.

Our partners are highly experienced at working with growth companies – each having spent between one and three decades in their industry as C-level executives, investment bankers, and investors.  Our practical, down-to-earth approach enables a strong partnership to determine and achieve well-defined goals.  Our extensive network of resources delivers vital industry connections to our portfolio companies enabling them to capitalize on their competitive advantage.

ABS Capital Partners specializes in four growth sectors—business services, health care, media and communications and technology.  With over $2 billion raised since inception, including $420 million in our latest fund, ABS Capital continues to build on its strong reputation for teaming with market leaders to deliver strong returns to investors.

For more information, please visit www.abscapital.com