Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners has agreed to acquire Woodstock, New Brunswick-based Xplornet Communications, a rural-focused broadband service provider. No financial terms were disclosed. Xplornet is currently backed by Catalyst Investors, Sandler Capital Management and Werklund Family Office.
WOODSTOCK, NB, Feb. 27, 2020 /CNW/ – Xplornet Communications Inc., Canada’s largest rural-focused broadband service provider, and Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners, today announced that Stonepeak has entered into a binding agreement with Xplornet and its shareholders, through which Stonepeak has agreed to acquire a controlling stake in Xplornet. Current Chairman of the Board Steve Weed, and his fund WaveDivision Capital, will remain material investors in the business. The transaction remains subject to regulatory approval and is expected to close in the coming months.
Today’s announcement will further Xplornet’s plan to accelerate investment in its national hybrid fibre wireless and satellite broadband network for rural Canadians. Upon completion of the transaction, Xplornet will have a strong balance sheet to execute its plan of improving broadband service for residences and business in rural Canada, along with access to growth capital to pursue organic and inorganic developments of its broadband business.
Stonepeak is a North American focused infrastructure firm with over $17 billion USD under management. The firm has a strong track record of investing in mission-critical telecommunication businesses globally. Xplornet marks their second telecommunications investment with a presence in Canada, with data center company Cologix operating 17 interconnection colocation facilities across Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver. Stonepeak is committed to supporting the existing Xplornet business plan focused on Canadian rural broadband. Allison Lenehan, the Chief Executive Officer, and the current executive team will continue leading Xplornet and the company will remain headquartered in New Brunswick.
“We are excited that Stonepeak has agreed to acquire Xplornet and is strongly committed to continuing our mission of providing rural Canadians with world-class broadband services.” said Allison Lenehan, President and CEO of Xplornet. “Stonepeak’s investment will position Xplornet to accelerate development of our facilities-based broadband network and services, enabling much faster speeds, including unlimited data plans at affordable prices for rural Canada.”
Brian McMullen, Senior Managing Director at Stonepeak added: “Stonepeak is delighted to partner with the Xplornet management team to build upon the impressive franchise they have established. We look forward to supporting the company as it moves into this next phase of growth.”
Today’s announcement builds upon the investments in fibre and 5G wireless technology to be made by Xplornet throughout Canada. In 2019, Xplornet announced that it will invest $500 million over the next five years to deploy state-of-the-art hybrid fibre wireless and satellite technology in its facilities-based network in order to deliver broadband services to rural Canadians.
About Xplornet Communications Inc.
Headquartered in Woodstock, New Brunswick, Xplornet Communications Inc. is one of Canada’s leading broadband service providers. For over a decade, Xplornet has been providing innovative fixed and mobile broadband solutions to rural customers at work, home and play across Canada. Today, Xplornet offers voice and data communication services through its unique hybrid fibre wireless and satellite network that connects Canadians to what matters.
About Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners
Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners (www.stonepeakpartners.com) is an infrastructure-focused private equity firm headquartered in New York that manages $17.9 billion of assets for its investors (as of September 30, 2019). Stonepeak invests in long-lived, hard-asset businesses, and projects that provide essential services to customers and seeks to actively partner with high-quality management teams, facilitate operational improvements, and provide capital for growth initiatives.