CPP, AIMCo, and Manulife Help Fund BAI Deal to Acquire ZenFi Networks

Posted on 07/31/2022

This deal was disclosed on July 29, 2022. The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPP Investments), Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo), and Manulife Investment Management, announced a new follow-on commitment to BAI Communications (BAI). This commitment will support BAI’s ongoing growth strategy, including the agreed acquisition of ZenFi Networks (ZenFi), a New York based provider of digital infrastructure solutions and innovator in small cell deployment, offload and roaming services, fibre connectivity and network edge colocation. ZenFi Networks delivers wireless siting, offload and roaming, network edge colocation and fiber optic network solutions in the NY-NJ metro region.

This acquisition represents a further growth opportunity for BAI in North America, building upon its existing connected infrastructure capability and broader operations in the region led by BAI Group companies Mobilitie and Transit Wireless.

Since 2009, CPP Investments has been a majority shareholder in BAI (with an 86% position) and has committed approximately C$3 billion to the BAI platform, with AIMCo as a minority investor. In the fourth quarter of 2021, Manulife Investment Management, on behalf of its clients, partnered with BAI to acquire a minority interest in its digital infrastructure assets in the United States.

The ZenFi transaction is subject to customary regulatory clearances and is expected to close in the fourth quarter of the calendar year.

Advisors for BAI Acquisition
J.P. Morgan Securities LLC served as exclusive financial advisor to BAI Communications and Latham & Watkins LLP served as legal advisor. Bank Street Group LLC served as exclusive financial advisor to ZenFi, and Alston & Bird LLP served as legal advisor.

In May 2022, ZenFi Networks secured US$ 175 million in senior secured credit facility. The new credit facility was led by TD Securities, Regions Securities, and Societe Generale. Ridgemont Equity Partners originally partnered with Cross River Fiber in 2014. In 2018, Cross River Fiber merged into ZenFi Networks.

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