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DigitalBridge takes ownership of tower operator Vertical Bridge Holdings

More than 300,000 owned or master-leased sites enter the Boca Raton-based REIT’s portfolio whigh has today grown to over $35 billion in asset value.

By João Marques Lima

Founder and Editor, The Tech Capital

3 Mins

October 14, 2021 | 10:57 AM BST

DigitalBridge takes ownership of tower operator Vertical Bridge Holdings

Steven Sonnenstein, Senior Managing Director of DigitalBridge Investment Management. Source: DigitalBridge

Global digital infrastructure REIT DigitalBridge Group Inc. (NYSE: DBRG) said funds affiliated with DigitalBridge Investment Management, the company’s investment management platform, have completed the acquisition of a controlling stake in Vertical Bridge Holdings, LLC, the largest private owner and operator of wireless communication infrastructure in the United States.

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

Steven Sonnenstein, Senior Managing Director of DigitalBridge Investment Management, said: “We are pleased to extend our longstanding relationship with Vertical Bridge, the industry’s leading independent tower platform led by the preeminent tower management team.

“The rapidly increasing demand for telecommunications infrastructure in the United States has created exciting and meaningful opportunities for long-term growth. Our ownership position in Vertical Bridge is representative of our conviction in its future.”

J.P. Morgan Securities LLC 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.

Alex Gellman, chief executive officer of Vertical Bridge, added: “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 US wireless and broadcast markets.”

Elsewhere, DigitalBridge has also announced that the company and DigitalBridge Operating Company, LLC entered into a privately negotiated exchange agreement with certain noteholders  of the Issuer’s 5.75% Exchangeable Senior Notes due 2025, pursuant to which the noteholders have agreed to exchange approximately US$44 million in aggregate principal amount of the outstanding 2025 notes for shares of DigitalBridge’s class A common stock, par value $0.01 per share.

Under the terms of the early exchange agreement, the original exchange ratio of 434.7826 shares per $1,000 of value has been adjusted to account for savings on future interest payments otherwise due to the noteholders.

Jacky Wu, CFO of DigitalBridge, said: “We’re pleased to have reached an agreement to exchange a portion of our 2025 Notes early. “This agreement not only improves DigitalBridge cash flows immediately, it represents a savings to our future cash payments due under the original terms of the 2025 Notes.”

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João Marques Lima

Founder and Editor, The Tech Capital

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