Vertical Bridge attracts Québec investor ahead of 5G expansion

11 April 2019 | Alan Burkitt-Gray

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A Québec-based institutional investor is to take a 30% stake in Vertical Bridge, one of the largest owners and operators of communications infrastructure in the US.

Vertical Bridge will use the investment from Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) to expand its portfolio of broadband and broadcast towers, small cells, real estate and other wireless infrastructure assets ahead of 5G deployment.

Vertical Bridge has already completed more than 250 acquisitions since it started in 2014, and grown its portfolio to over 266,000 sites, including more than 16,000 owned and master-leased towers, as well as the largest and tallest private portfolio of broadcast towers in the US.

Marc Ganzi, executive chairman of Vertical Bridge and co-founder and CEO of Digital Bridge, said: “As the world prepares for the next generation of mobile technology, and coverage and capacity demands rise, their support and guidance will be a vital asset to the Board and to the management team as we collaborate to achieve our goals and support carriers by providing best-in-class digital infrastructure solutions.” Ganzi was also reported last week to be part of a consortium expected to bid for all or part of Zayo. 

Alex Gellman, CEO and co-founder of Vertical Bridge, said: “Two key goals since the day we were founded have been to be a leader in wireless communications infrastructure and to have longevity as a private company. The commitment from CDPQ – as well our current investors’ ongoing support – will allow us to continue to meet these objectives.”

Existing investors include Digital Bridge, Jordan Company, Goldman Sachs, Stonepeak and Edgewater.

Emmanuel Jaclot (pictured), executive vice-president for infrastructure at CDPQ, said: “With this acquisition, we expand our exposure to telecommunications infrastructure by partnering with a first-class operator that is strategically positioned in the market and brings a wealth of knowledge of the industry.”

He added that CDPQ will “support the company’s next stages of development and long-term growth in an attractive wireless infrastructure sector”.

Gellman added: “Two key goals since the day we were founded have been to be a leader in wireless communications infrastructure and to have longevity as a private company. The commitment from CDPQ – as well our current investors’ ongoing support – will allow us to continue to meet these objectives.”