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GI Partners snaps up regional broadband provider

Mark GI Partners.jpg

The US-based data infrastructure investor, GI Partners, has signed an agreement to acquire Vast Broadband.

It is the first acquisition since GI Partners closed its US$1.8 billion data infrastructure fund in September.

Vast, which operates in Dakota and Minnesota and provides gigabit-speed broadband, video, and phone services, is currently owned by Pamlico Capital and Oak Hill Capital. The company provides services to 60,000 residential and business customers

Once the deal is closed, industry veteran Rich Fish, former CFO of WOW, is to take on the role of CEO of Vast.

“Vast is committed to providing its customers with access to the most reliable, high-speed broadband connectivity available,” Fish said.

“As a native of the Great Plains, I am thrilled to partner with the local employees at Vast to bring high quality internet connectivity to my home region.”

 

Mark Prybutok (pictured), managing director of GI Partners, added: “Fast, reliable, and fairly-priced broadband service is critical to business, education, and so many aspects of our daily lives. We support Vast Broadband’s vision to be an essential contributor to thriving communities across the Northern Plains.”

GI Partners has raised over $23 billion in capital from leading institutional investors around the world to invest in private equity, real estate, and data infrastructure strategies.

GI Partners took a majority stake in Blue Stream back in June and, in September, the firm closed its US$1.8 billion data infrastructure fund.

The firm announced at the time that the oversubscribed fund surpassed its initial target of $1.25 billion, and will now invest across four data infrastructure subsectors data centres, data transport, wireless access, and tech-enabled infrastructure, largely in North America.

Jim Gleason, the outgoing CEO of Vast Broadband, said: “We are very pleased to have reached an agreement with Rich Fish and the GI Partners team.  We have had tremendous success during our tenure and we are delighted that our team in South Dakota and Minnesota will have the opportunity to continue to grow in the communities we serve.”

Weil, Gotshal & Manges acted as legal counsel to GI Partners. RBC Capital Markets, LLC acted as exclusive financial advisor to Vast Broadband and Alston & Bird acted as legal counsel.