M&A Deal Summary

Crown Castle Acquires Lightower Fiber Networks

On July 18, 2017, Crown Castle acquired communications company Lightower Fiber Networks from Peppertree Capital, Pamlico Capital, M/C Partners, Berkshire Partners, ABRY Partners, HarbourVest Partners and Ridgemont Equity Partners for 7.1B USD

Acquisition Highlights
  • This is Crown Castle’s 7th transaction in the Communications sector.
  • This is Crown Castle’s largest (disclosed) transaction.
  • This is Crown Castle’s 9th transaction in the United States.
  • This is Crown Castle’s 2nd transaction in Massachusetts.

M&A Deal Summary

Date 2017-07-18
Target Lightower Fiber Networks
Sector Communications
Buyer(s) Crown Castle
Sellers(s) Peppertree Capital
Pamlico Capital
M/C Partners
Berkshire Partners
ABRY Partners
HarbourVest Partners
Ridgemont Equity Partners
Deal Type Add-on Acquisition
Deal Value 7.1B USD
Advisor(s) Evercore Group LLC
Citigroup Investment Banking (Financial)
Ropes & Gray LLP (Legal)

Target

Lightower Fiber Networks

Boxborough, Massachusetts, United States
website
Lightower Fiber Networks LLC is a fiber network and broadband service provider in the Northeast, offering over 4,600 fiber route miles coupled with comprehensive transport, alternative access, and nationwide long haul services.

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Buyer(S) 1

Buyer

Crown Castle

Houston, Texas, United States

website


Category Company
Sector Communications
Employees5,000
Revenue 6.3B USD (2021)
DESCRIPTION
Entrance to Crown Castle's corporate headquarters in Houston, Texas.
Entrance to Crown Castle's corporate headquarters in Houston, Texas.

Crown Castle operates and leases shared wireless infrastructure, distributed antenna systems, and interests in land under third party towers. The Company's core business is providing access, including space or capacity, to towers, and to a lesser extent, to small cells and third party land interests via long-term contracts, including license, sublease and lease agreements.


DEAL STATS #
Overall 9 of 9
Sector (Communications) 7 of 7
Type (Add-on Acquisition) 8 of 8
State (Massachusetts) 2 of 2
Country (United States) 9 of 9
Year (2017) 2 of 2
Size (of disclosed) 1 of 9
PREVIOUS DEAL
DATE TARGET DEAL TYPE VALUE
2017-04-17 Wilcon Operations

Los Angeles, California, United States

Wilcon Operations LLC is a provider of fiber optic network infrastructure in Southern California connecting major colocation facilities, data centers and enterprise locations. Wilcon Operations LLC was established in 1998 and is headquartered in Los Angeles, California.

Buy $600M

Seller(S) 7

SELLER

Peppertree Capital

Chagrin Falls, Ohio, United States

Investor Investor Investor Investor Investor

website


Category Private Equity Firm
Founded 2003
PE ASSETS 135M USD
Size Small
Type Sector Agnostic
DESCRIPTION

Peppertree Capital Management, Inc. (PCM) is a private equity firm that targets middle market wireless telecommunication infrastructure companies. PCM focuses on growing companies with recurring, predictable cash-flows, and led by management with proven track records. Areas of interest include telecommunications, media and recurring services. Target transaction types include buyouts, recapitalizations and growth capital financings. Peppertree Capital Management, Inc. was formed in 2003 and is based in Chagrin Falls, Ohio. The Firm has an additional office in Dallas, Texas.


DEAL STATS #
Overall 10 of 10
Sector (Communications) 6 of 6
Type (Add-on Acquisition) 6 of 6
State (Massachusetts) 1 of 1
Country (United States) 10 of 10
Year (2017) 1 of 1
Size (of disclosed) 1 of 4
PREVIOUS DEAL
DATE TARGET DEAL TYPE VALUE
2013-07-10 AC Lordi

Malvern, Pennsylvania, United States

AC Lordi Corp. is a provider of accounting and risk management consulting and executive search.

Sell -
FOLLOWING DEAL
DATE TARGET DEAL TYPE VALUE
2018-12-14 TowerCo.

Cary, North Carolina, United States

TowerCo. LLC develops and owns wireless communications towers and leases the towers' capacity to communications service providers. In addition to leasing towers, the company also markets and manages third-party towers for regional carriers.

Buy -
SELLER

Pamlico Capital

Charlotte, North Carolina, United States

Investor Investor Investor Investor Investor

website


Category Private Equity Firm
Founded 1988
PE ASSETS 3.5B USD
Size Large
Type Sector Agnostic
DESCRIPTION

Pamlico Capital is a private equity group focused on mid-sized transactions. Pamlico looks to invest $25 to $125 million per transaction. Sectors of interest include business and technology services, consumer products/services, industrial, energy, financial services, healthcare, media, and communications. Pamlico will consider both minority and majority positions. Prospective transactions include management or leveraged buyouts, recapitalizations, growth financings, mezzanine, and special situations. Pamlico was formerly known as Wachovia Capital Partners. The Firm was originally formed in 1988 and is based in Charlotte, North Carolina.


DEAL STATS #
Overall 41 of 56
Sector (Communications) 7 of 8
Type (Add-on Acquisition) 19 of 28
State (Massachusetts) 2 of 2
Country (United States) 39 of 54
Year (2017) 3 of 4
Size (of disclosed) 3 of 13
PREVIOUS DEAL
DATE TARGET DEAL TYPE VALUE
2017-07-12 Dexter & Chaney

Seattle, Washington, United States

Dexter & Chaney, Inc. is a provider of ERP software to the construction industry. Dexter & Chaney product, Spectrum® Construction Software, is an integral component of daily operations for more than 1,000 contractors, and is the industry’s first construction management platform to utilize true cloud-based technology with an intuitive web browser interface. Dexter & Chaney, Inc. was established in 1981 and is headquartered in Seattle, Washington.

Sell -
FOLLOWING DEAL
DATE TARGET DEAL TYPE VALUE
2017-09-19 Cartegraph

Dubuque, Iowa, United States

Cartegraph is a provider of SaaS-based asset management solutions to local governments. The company devotes itself to cities, counties, and government agencies seeking to be more effective, efficient, and productive in their daily operations. It builds software that empowers users to capture infrastructure asset data, analyze it, and use it to prepare for the future. Cartegraph was established in 1994 and is based in Dubuque, Iowa.

Buy -
SELLER

M/C Partners

Boston, Massachusetts, United States

Investor Investor Investor Investor Investor

website


Category Private Equity Firm
Founded 1986
PE ASSETS 1.5B USD
Size Large
Type Sector Agnostic
DESCRIPTION

M/C Partners is a private equity and venture capital firm that targets communications, media and information technology companies throughout the US, Canada and Europe. M/C looks to invest $5 to $50 million per transaction and is usually the first institutional investor in its portfolio companies. Areas of interest include cable system operators, wireline communications services, fixed wireless broadband operators, media/content, mobile wireless data software and services and operators, wireless tower operators and on-demand software companies. Prospective transaction types include buyouts, growth capital and seed capital financing. M/C partners was formerly known as Chestnut Street Partners. M/C Partners was founded in 1986. The Firm is based in Boston with additional offices in San Francisco and London.


DEAL STATS #
Overall 24 of 31
Sector (Communications) 17 of 20
Type (Add-on Acquisition) 14 of 16
State (Massachusetts) 1 of 2
Country (United States) 19 of 26
Year (2017) 1 of 1
Size (of disclosed) 1 of 15
PREVIOUS DEAL
DATE TARGET DEAL TYPE VALUE
2017-07-10 Neutral Connect Networks

West Palm Beach, Florida, United States

Neutral Connect Networks is an independent owner and operator of wireless communications infrastructure. Neutral Connect Networks primary focus is building and operating multi-carrier neutral host DAS and small cell networks in venues and buildings throughout North America. Neutral Connect Networks was established in 2011 and is headquartered in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Buy -
FOLLOWING DEAL
DATE TARGET DEAL TYPE VALUE
2018-03-09 Everstream Solutions

Cleveland, Ohio, United States

Everstream is a super-regional network service provider bringing fiber-based Ethernet, internet and data center solutions to businesses throughout the Midwest. We are the Business Fiber Network®. We focus on delivering best-in-class network solutions while providing an unrivaled commitment to customer service. With more than 10,000 route miles and comprehensive data center connectivity at 100 Gigabit speed, we provide the fastest network in our service areas. Everstream’s network allows businesses to operate a converged IP network capable of delivering robust voice, video, and data services at speeds from 10 Mbps to 100 Gbps.

Sell -
SELLER

Berkshire Partners

Boston, Massachusetts, United States

Investor Investor Investor Investor Investor

website


Category Private Equity Firm
Founded 1984
PE ASSETS 16.0B USD
Size Mega
Type Sector Agnostic
DESCRIPTION

Berkshire Partners is a private equity firm focused on investing in businesses with strong management and that lead their respective markets. Berkshire will consider investments in both public and private companies. Prospective transactions for private companies include leveraged buyouts, recapitalizations, growth capital financings, and privatizations. Public company transactions include take-privates, PIPEs, and equity stakes. Berkshire generally looks to invest $50 to $500 million of equity capital per transaction in companies valued up to $2 billion. Sectors of interest include industrial manufacturing, consumer products, retailing, transportation, communications and business services. Berkshire Partners was formed in 1984 and is based in Boston, Massachusetts.


DEAL STATS #
Overall 46 of 58
Sector (Communications) 3 of 4
Type (Add-on Acquisition) 16 of 20
State (Massachusetts) 7 of 8
Country (United States) 41 of 49
Year (2017) 2 of 6
Size (of disclosed) 1 of 16
PREVIOUS DEAL
DATE TARGET DEAL TYPE VALUE
2017-06-22 Melissa & Doug

Wilton, Connecticut, United States

Melissa & Doug is a designer and manufacturer of children’s toys, including wooden puzzles, arts & crafts products, plush toys and other educational toys. The Company was founded in 1988 by Melissa and Doug Bernstein. Today, the Company has over 575 employees worldwide and is headquartered in Wilton, Connecticut.

Sell -
FOLLOWING DEAL
DATE TARGET DEAL TYPE VALUE
2017-09-14 Curriculum Associates

North Billerica, Massachusetts, United States

Curriculum Associates is a provider of technology-enabled assessment and instructional programs for elementary and middle school students, teachers and administrators. The company’s adaptive assessments, personalized learning materials and exceptional customer service help students achieve their full potential and make teachers more effective. Curriculum Associates was founded in 1969 and is based in North Billerica, Massachusetts.

Buy -
SELLER

ABRY Partners

Boston, Massachusetts, United States

Investor Investor Investor Investor Investor

website


Category Private Equity Firm
Founded 1989
PE ASSETS 12.8B USD
Size Mega
Type Sector Focused
DESCRIPTION

ABRY Partners is a media and communications focused private equity investment firm. Specific areas of interest include television, publishing, convention/trade shows, for-profit training, couponing, monitoring services, telephone companies, communications towers, music libraries, database providers, wireless communications, and in-store advertisers. ABRY can provide both equity and mezzanine capital, typically committing $20 to $200 million of equity or $15 to $50 million of mezzanine capital per transaction. Prospective transaction situations include buyouts, expansion financings, platform acquisitions, consolidations, and recapitalizations. ABRY Partners was formed in 1989 and is headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts.


DEAL STATS #
Overall 70 of 92
Sector (Communications) 14 of 15
Type (Add-on Acquisition) 37 of 48
State (Massachusetts) 6 of 6
Country (United States) 61 of 80
Year (2017) 8 of 11
Size (of disclosed) 1 of 28
PREVIOUS DEAL
DATE TARGET DEAL TYPE VALUE
2017-06-01 CIBT

McLean, Virginia, United States

CIBT is a global provider of mobility services including visa, passport, and immigration documentation. CIBT serves multinational corporations, global travel management companies, tour and cruise operators, government agencies, and individual travelers. CIBT’s services simplify the time-consuming and complicated process of obtaining required travel documents and work authorizations, while providing an accurate and compliant service for corporate customers.

Sell -
FOLLOWING DEAL
DATE TARGET DEAL TYPE VALUE
2017-08-11 RIMES

New York, New York, United States

RIMES is a provider of managed data services and regulatory solutions for the buy-side. The company is a pioneer provider of cloud-based technology which delivers highly customized financial data over the internet. RIMES was founded in 1996 and is based in New York City.

Buy -
SELLER

HarbourVest Partners

Boston, Massachusetts, United States

Investor Investor Investor Investor Investor

website


Category Private Equity Firm
Founded 1978
PE ASSETS 86.0B USD
Size Mega
Type Sector Agnostic
DESCRIPTION

HarbourVest Partners, LLC is an investment firm that makes investments in new private equity partnerships, acquires secondary interests, and makes direct investments in operating companies. HarbourVest's largest investment area is investments in private equity funds, comprising of approximately 2/3 of HarbourVest's assets. HarbourVest's direct investment group looks for investments in growth oriented businesses at a variety of stages. The Group generally targets co-investments of $5 to $100 million, growth capital financings of $5 to $40 million, or mezzanine commitments of $5 to $20 million. Sectors of interest include software, hardware, data communications, telecommunications, and financial services. HarbourVest was formed in 1997 to assume the business of Hancock Venture Partners which was formed in 1982. HarbourVest Partners is based in Boston, Massachusetts, with additional offices in London, Tokyo, and Hong Kong.


DEAL STATS #
Overall 85 of 117
Sector (Communications) 10 of 10
Type (Add-on Acquisition) 33 of 51
State (Massachusetts) 6 of 6
Country (United States) 53 of 77
Year (2017) 5 of 12
Size (of disclosed) 3 of 36
PREVIOUS DEAL
DATE TARGET DEAL TYPE VALUE
2017-06-28 Staples

Framingham, Massachusetts, United States

Staples is a large office supply retailer. Staples sells and distributes a variety of office products for consumers as well as small to large companies around the world. Staples was formed in 1985 and is based in Framingham, Massachusetts.

Buy $6.9B
FOLLOWING DEAL
DATE TARGET DEAL TYPE VALUE
2017-07-21 Klarna

Stockholm, Sweden

Klarna offers safe and easy-to-use payment solutions to e-stores in Europe with the ambition to make e-commerce safer, simpler and more fun. At the core of Klarna's services is the concept of after delivery payment, which lets buyers receive ordered goods before any payment is due. At the same time, Klarna assumes all credit and fraud risk for e-stores so that sellers can rest assured that they will always receive their money. Klarna was founded in 2005 and is based in Stockholm, Sweden.

Buy -
SELLER

Ridgemont Equity Partners

Charlotte, North Carolina, United States

Investor Investor Investor Investor Investor

website


Category Private Equity Firm
Founded 1993
PE ASSETS 6.0B USD
Size Mega
Type Sector Agnostic
DESCRIPTION

Ridgemont Equity Partners is an independent private equity firm specializing in middle-market buy-outs, corporate divestitures, recapitalizations and growth capital investments. The Firm targets to invest in companies located in North America, preferably in US and Canada. REP looks to invest up to $250 million in companies with EBIDTA of $5 - $50 million. The Firm seeks to hold both majority and minority equity interest in portfolio companies. Specific areas of interest include basin industries and services, energy, healthcare, telecommunications, media and technology. Ridgemont Equity Partners is a spun-off of Banc of America Capital Investors (BACI). Ridgemont Equity Partners was formed in August 2010 and is based in Charlotte, North Carolina.


DEAL STATS #
Overall 75 of 88
Sector (Communications) 7 of 8
Type (Add-on Acquisition) 29 of 36
State (Massachusetts) 2 of 2
Country (United States) 64 of 77
Year (2017) 2 of 3
Size (of disclosed) 1 of 22
PREVIOUS DEAL
DATE TARGET DEAL TYPE VALUE
2017-04-04 Dickinson Fleet Services

Indianapolis, Indiana, United States

Dickinson Fleet Services LLC is a provider of on-site mobile maintenance and repair services nationwide, offering mobile on-site fleet service for light medium, and heavy-duty trucks and trailers. Dickinson Fleet Services was founded in 1997 and is headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Buy -
FOLLOWING DEAL
DATE TARGET DEAL TYPE VALUE
2017-07-20 HemaSource

Salt Lake City, Utah, United States

HemaSource is a technology-enabled distributor of medical products to the plasma collection industry. HemaSource utilizes a proprietary cloud-based inventory management and business intelligence software solution to help its customers gain supply chain efficiencies and decrease their plasma collection costs. HemaSource was established in 1998 and is headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Buy -