Ganzi’s Digital Colony adds fourth UK small-cell business

18 June 2019 | Alan Burkitt-Gray

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Marc Ganzi’s Digital Colony has added a fourth operation to its UK portfolio of small-cell businesses by buying Spyder Facilities.

Digital Colony has bought Spyder Facilities, which provides rooftop and ground-based masts in 5,093 locations in Britain and Ireland.

Graham Payne, CEO of Digital Colony’s UK digital infrastructure platform, said: “As part of the Digital Colony UK platform Spyder will offer an even more compelling proposition to operators. Spyder’s agile, can-do and collaborative approach combined with our powerful resources will bring a fresh wave of towers to the market.”

The acquisition follows quickly on the purchase in April of iWireless Solutions, a UK company that provides outdoor coverage of venues such as Twickenham rugby stadium and Wimbledon tennis in London and provides Wifi in places such as the financial centre of London. At the end of 2018 Digital Colony’s original UK business, Stratto, bought Open Cell.

Neither Digital Colony nor any of its acquisitions have disclosed a price for the recent deals.

Before the iWireless and Spyder acquisitions, StrattoOpencell had supplied over 3,000 radio nodes across 150 sites – including in-building coverage.

Spyder, based on the southern perimeter of London’s Stansted airport, says it has since 1998 developed “its own nationwide infrastructure portfolio providing operators a single point of contact for a fully managed turnkey process from initial design and construction to technology upgrade and on-going management.”

Andrew Saunders, director of Spyder, said: “Working in conjunction with our mobile operator and landlord partners over the last 20 years, we have built Spyder into a highly regarded player in the digital infrastructure market.”

The company counts all UK mobile network operators as customers.

Saunders added: “As we shift to the internet of things and other next generation technologies, connectivity is more critical than ever, and this partnership reinforces that goal. We are excited to be joining the Digital Colony UK platform to enhance our mutual capabilities.”

Digital Colony is a joint venture between Digital Bridge, whose CEO is Ganzi, and Colony Capital, an investment fund. Digital Colony and Swedish private equity group EQT are negotiating to buy Zayo, a publicly listed company, for $14.3 billion.