New capital to spur fiber growth, meet growing bandwidth demand among enterprise businesses
ATLANTA – July 6, 2016 – Cox Communications has entered into a definitive agreement to make a strategic investment in Unite Private Networks (UPN) alongside Ridgemont Equity Partners and the company’s management team.
UPN specializes in providing high-bandwidth, fiber-based communications networks and related services to schools, government, carriers, data centers, hospitals and enterprise business customers. UPN operates a 6,200 route mile fiber network that connects to 3,750 on-net buildings across 20 states, primarily in the central United States.
“We believe that fiber infrastructure represents an attractive area for long-term investment, particularly in underserved markets,” said Pat Esser, president, Cox Communications. “UPN is led by a proven management team and is well-positioned to capitalize on the explosive demand for bandwidth driving growth within fiber infrastructure.”
“Our relationship with Cox and Ridgemont will provide UPN with access to capital and an ability to leverage strategic insights and capabilities in order to accelerate our growth over the long-term. We are better positioned than ever to meet the growing demand among our customers for high-bandwidth fiber infrastructure solutions,” said Kevin Anderson, CEO of UPN.
“Since our initial investment in December 2010, we have enjoyed working with UPN’s management team to build the company into a regional leader in the fiber industry. We’re now excited to be joining forces with another industry leader, as we continue to support the UPN team,” said George Morgan, partner at Ridgemont. “We have tremendous confidence in the company and the fiber infrastructure sector and believe the strategic relationship with Cox will help facilitate UPN’s continued growth and success.”
UPN will be led by its existing management team and operate as a stand-alone business within the Cox family of companies. Cox and UPN will work in a coordinated manner to pursue strategic growth opportunities.
The transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals and closing conditions. The financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed. Bank Street Group and SunTrust Robinson Humphrey Inc. advised UPN and Ridgemont in connection with the transaction.
About Unite Private Networks (UPN)
Unite Private Networks (UPN) provides high-bandwidth, fiber-based communications networks and related services to schools, governments, carriers, data centers, hospitals, and enterprise business customers throughout the United States. Service offerings include dark and lit fiber, private line, optical Ethernet, Internet access, data center services and other customized solutions. UPN currently serves more than 300 communities across 20 states, with more than 6,200 metro fiber route miles and 3,750 on-net buildings.
About Cox Communications
Cox Communications is a broadband communications and entertainment company, providing advanced digital video, Internet, telephone and home security and automation services over its own nationwide IP network. The third-largest U.S. cable company, Cox serves approximately 6 million residences and businesses. Cox Business is a facilities-based provider of voice, video and data solutions for commercial customers, and Cox Media is a full-service provider of national and local cable spot and digital media advertising. Cox is known for its pioneering efforts in broadband, voice and commercial services, industry-leading customer care and its outstanding workplaces. For nine years, Cox has been recognized as the top operator for women by Women in Cable Telecommunications; Cox has ranked among DiversityInc's Top 50 Companies for Diversity 11 times. More information about Cox Communications, a wholly owned subsidiary of Cox Enterprises, is available at www.cox.com and www.coxmedia.com.
About Ridgemont Equity Partners
Ridgemont Equity Partners is a Charlotte-based middle market buyout and growth equity investor. Since 1993, the principals of Ridgemont have invested more than $3.5 billion in 129 companies. The firm focuses on investments of $25 million to $100 million in industries in which it has deep expertise, including basic industries and services, energy, healthcare, and telecommunications/media/technology. For more info, visitwww.ridgemontep.com.