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DigitalBridge takes control of the US’ largest private owner and operator of wireless communications infrastructure

Investment firm hopes to capitalize on tower market growth opportunities driven by the strong tailwinds from enhanced data consumption and development of next-generation digital services that underpin investment in 5G networks and digital infrastructure to support IoT applications.

By João Marques Lima

Founder and Editor, The Tech Capital

3 Mins

August 12, 2021 | 11:13 AM BST

DigitalBridge Group. Inc. (NYSE:DBRG) said that funds affiliated with DigitalBridge Investment Management, the company’s investment management platform, have reached a definitive agreement to acquire a controlling stake in Vertical Bridge Holdings, LLC.

Vertical Bridge is the largest private owner and operator of wireless communications infrastructure in the US.

Since its founding in 2014, Vertical Bridge has expanded its portfolio to include over 308,000 owned or master-leased sites, including over 8,000 towers across the country.

J.P. Morgan Securities LLC have served as financial advisor to DigitalBridge Investment Management in connection with the transaction and Vinson & Elkins L.L.P. served as legal counsel.

Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC acted as financial advisor to Vertical Bridge and Greenberg Traurig, LLP served as legal advisor.

The transaction is subject to various regulatory approvals and is expected to close during the fourth quarter of 2021. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Steven Sonnenstein, senior managing director of DigitalBridge Investment Management, said: “Significant acceleration in 5G infrastructure spending in the US has created a tremendous long-term growth opportunity for telecommunications infrastructure and demonstrated that investments to support the next generation of mobility continue to be a powerful thematic.

“By consolidating Vertical Bridge’s ownership via our fund management business, we will not only extend our long-standing relationship, but we will be even better positioned to support the Vertical Bridge team as they build on their market leadership and capitalize on exciting growth opportunities.”

Alex Gellman, chief executive officer of Vertical Bridge, added: “We have experienced significant, industry-leading growth at Vertical Bridge since our inception, scaling our platform to meet the evolving needs of our customers.

“This financial commitment not only positions Vertical Bridge to meet the rising demand for infrastructure solutions in light of new technologies, but also accelerates the substantial organic and inorganic growth opportunities available to us in this dynamic market. We look forward to continuing to work with the DigitalBridge team as we expand our asset portfolio to become a stronger and more agile partner serving the U.S. wireless and broadcast markets.”

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Founder and Editor, The Tech Capital

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