New York-based private equity firm Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners has entered into a binding agreement to acquire a controlling stake in Canada’s largest rural-focused broadband provider Xplornet Communications, it was confirmed yesterday (27 February 2020) in a release by Xplornet. The deal, of undisclosed value (according to previous unconfirmed reports, worth in the region of USD2 billion including debt), is expected to close in the coming months, subject to regulatory approval. Privately-held Xplornet’s current owners include Sandler Capital Management and Catalyst Investors.
Xplornet said that the takeover will support the New Brunswick-based operator’s plans to accelerate investment in its national ‘hybrid fibre wireless and satellite’ broadband network for rural Canadians, declaring that ‘upon completion of the transaction, Xplornet will have a strong balance sheet to execute its plan of improving broadband service for residences and business in rural Canada, along with access to growth capital to pursue organic and inorganic developments of its broadband business.’
Stonepeak is a North American-focused infrastructure investment company with over USD17 billion in assets under management. In Canada it has invested in data centre company Cologix (operating 17 interconnection colocation facilities across Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver).