Macquarie Infrastructure to acquire Bluebird Network

16 January 2019 | James Pearce

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Bluebird Network is set to be acquired by Macquarie Infrastructure Partners for an undisclosed fee, with Uniti Group helping to fund the deal.

The agreement will see infrastructure investment firm MIP, which is part of the Macquarie Group, take control of Bluebird. Uniti will provide financing to acquire Bluebird’s fibre network, which it will then lease back to Bluebird in a long-term deal.

The deal will also see Bluebird acquire Uniti’s Midwestern fibre business and receive a long-term lease of the company’s 2,500 mile network in that region.

Upon completion of the deal, which is expected to take place in Q3 2019, the two adjacent networks will be combined and operated as one company under the Bluebird name. The company will be headquartered in Columbia and led by CEO Michael Morey.

Morey said: “This is an exciting opportunity for Bluebird. The investment by MIP and the addition of the adjacent network uniquely positions Bluebird as a scaled strategic network and data centre provider in the Midwest.

“With our existing team in place and an expanded network and customer set, Bluebird will be well placed to serve wholesale and enterprise customers, and for platform growth throughout the Midwest and beyond

Bluebird, which was formed by integrating Bluebird Media and Missouri Network Alliance, offers over 5,200 of fibre route miles, with 127 points of presence in Midwest US. It provides high bandwidth network solutions within rural and urban areas, plus a number of services to enterprise and wholesale partners, including bandwidth, metro Ethernet, and mobile backhaul services.

“We are very pleased to partner with Bluebird’s experienced management team as MIP expands its portfolio of investments in communications infrastructure,” said Karl Kuchel, CEO of MIP.  “As bandwidth needs continue to increase, fibre has become the essential backbone for high-performance connectivity networks. We look forward to working with the Bluebird team to growing the platform in the years ahead.”