RPC, AIMCo and Manulife Help Fund BAI’s Deal to Acquire ZenFi Networks

Published on 07/31/2022

This transaction was disclosed on July 29, 2022. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPP Investments), Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo) and Manulife Investment Management announced a new follow-on engagement with BAI Communications (BAI). This engagement will support BAI’s continued growth strategy, including the agreed acquisition of ZenFi Networks (ZenFi), a New York-based digital infrastructure solutions provider and innovator in small cell deployment, offloading services and roaming, fiber connectivity and network edge colocation. ZenFi Networks offers wireless staking, offloading and roaming, network edge colocation and fiber optic network solutions in the NY-NJ metro area.

This acquisition represents a new growth opportunity for BAI in North America, building on its existing connected infrastructure capability and broader operations in the region led by BAI group companies, Mobilitie and Transit Wireless.

Since 2009, CPP Investments has been a majority shareholder of BAI (with an 86% position) and has committed approximately C$3 billion to the BAI platform, with AIMCo as a minority investor. In the fourth quarter of 2021, Manulife Investment Management, on behalf of its clients, partnered with BAI to acquire a minority stake in its digital infrastructure assets in the United States.

The ZenFi transaction is subject to customary regulatory clearances and is expected to close in the fourth quarter of the calendar year.

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JP Morgan Securities LLC served as exclusive financial advisor to BAI Communications and Latham & Watkins LLP served as legal advisor. Bank Street Group LLC served as exclusive financial advisor to ZenFi, and Alston & Bird LLP served as legal advisor.

In May 2022, ZenFi Networks secured US$175 million in a senior secured credit facility. The new credit facility was led by TD Securities, Regions Securities and Société Générale. Ridgemont Equity Partners originally partnered with Cross River Fiber in 2014. In 2018, Cross River Fiber merged with ZenFi Networks.

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