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Ridgemont acquires majority interest in Unite Private Networks

Ridgemont Equity Partners, a middle market buyout and growth equity firm, has acquired a majority investment in Unite Private Networks, a provider of high-bandwidth, fibre-based communications networks.

The financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

UPN specialises in providing high-capacity data communications networks and related services to schools, government, carriers, data centres and enterprise business customers. UPN currently provides service in 12 states, primarily in the Midwest US.

“Our partnership with Ridgemont as a majority equity sponsor provides growth capital and additional strategic resources to UPN,” says Kevin Anderson, chief executive of UPN. ”Our management team is pleased to be working with Ridgemont and feels confident that our combined experience in the fibre networks business will be very valuable as UPN continues to expand and serve new markets.”

“UPN is a prototypical buyout transaction for Ridgemont as an independent firm,” says George Morgan, partner at Ridgemont. “Telecom remains a core focus for Ridgemont going forward, as we have made a number of successful investments in the sector dating back to the 1990s. UPN is a promising investment because the company has consistent and profitable earnings, long-term customer relationships, and a dedicated employee base. We are excited about UPN’s growth potential and believe that – coupled with the solid management team at UPN – Ridgemont will prove to be a value-added partner.”

The transaction was initially announced in August, pending approval of federal and state regulators. Senior debt financing was arranged by the Royal Bank of Canada and included CoBank and Webster Bank. RBC Daniels acted as financial adviser and Husch Blackwell Sanders acted as legal adviser to UPN. Alston & Bird acted as legal adviser to Ridgemont.

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