DigitalBridge, Columbia Capital buy Hong Kong, Singapore assets in first APAC fibre investment

The sale price represents a 30% premium to the carrying value of the assets today.

By João Marques Lima

Founder and Editor, The Tech Capital

4 Mins

October 18, 2021 | 3:23 PM BST

DigitalBridge Group, Inc. (NYSE: DBRG) and venture capital firm Columbia Capital through DigitalBridge Investment Management (DigitalBridge), the investment management arm of DigitalBridge Group, Inc., and funds affiliated with Columbia Capital, have entered into a binding agreement to acquire certain select assets from Superloop (Singapore) Pte. Ltd. and Superloop (Hong Kong) Limited for A$140 million (US$103.6 million).

Under the terms of the agreement, DigitalBridge and Columbia Capital will become strategic partners of Superloop.

The sale price represents a 30% premium to the A$108million carrying value of the assets today.

In connection with the sale, Superloop, which is headquartered in Brisbane, Australia, will maintain operations in Singapore and Hong Kong and purchase a 15-year Indefeasible Right of Use (IRU) on the existing or future expanded Singapore and Hong Kong networks.

This will allow the company to continue to participate in these markets, and provide end-to-end connectivity services to Superloop’s INDIGO submarine cable (INDIGO) customers in the region, the company said in a statement.

Superloop will also receive a management fee of S$1.5 million (US$1.11 million) per annum, plus any incremental capital expenditure required, to deliver these services.

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Justin Chang, Managing Director and Head of Asia at DigitalBridge, said: “It is a terrific opportunity to partner with two leading industry players, investing alongside the experienced team at Columbia Capital and entering a long-term strategic partnership with Superloop to capitalise on the significant growth in network demand we see ahead.”

John Siegel, Partner at Columbia Capital, added: “Increasing regional demand from businesses and consumers for end-to-end connectivity is creating meaningful opportunities for long-term growth.

“We look forward to partnering with DigitalBridge, who bring more than 25 years of experience in digital infrastructure, on the acquisition of these high-quality assets, and to continue carrying traffic and providing connectivity services in the Singapore and Hong Kong markets.”

The transaction is expected to close in early 2022, subject to customary closing conditions.

Also commenting, Paul Tyler, CEO and Managing Director of Superloop said the sale allows the company to “release significant shareholder funds” and redeploy them into more strategically aligned assets, and higher growth opportunities and markets.

He added: “This transaction is part of Superloop’s strategy to create the network infrastructure required by the challengers in the Australian telco market, in the wholesale, business and consumer segments.

“We continue to consider opportunities to acquire accretive businesses, as we did with Exetel, and to consider the invested capital of the business. Where appropriate, we look to recycle it and re-invest in areas that will drive greater shareholder returns. 

“Columbia Capital and DigitalBridge are global leaders in digital infrastructure. This new partnership allows us to monetise our international assets, and gain leverage from our respective infrastructures and complementary customer bases.”

Headquartered in Boca Raton, DigitalBridge manages a $35 billion portfolio of digital infrastructure assets on behalf of its limited partners and shareholders.

Since 1989, Columbia Capital, from Alexandria, VA, has invested in over 175 companies and to date it has raised approximately $5 billion of fund commitments.

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João Marques Lima

Founder and Editor, The Tech Capital

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