NEW HAVEN, Conn., April 8, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Wood Creek Capital Management, LLC (Wood Creek) and leading independent tower company, Wireless Infrastructure Group (WIG or the Company) today announce a significant investment from 3i Infrastructure plc (3i Infrastructure). 3i Infrastructure's investment of close to £75m capitalises the Company at approximately £300m and sees 3i Infrastructure acquire a significant minority stake, joining Wood Creek Capital Management and the management team as shareholders. The investment is part of a strategy to substantially scale up the Company. The transaction represents validation of the value built by Wood Creek and Management since Wood Creek's acquisition of a majority holding in the company in December 2012. Completion of the transaction is conditional only upon receiving clearance from the European Commission under EU Merger Regulations which is anticipated by the end of June 2016.
Jon Rotolo, CEO – Wood Creek Capital Management
"Wood Creek is excited by the opportunities this transaction brings to WIG as we look to scale our holdings in wireless infrastructure assets in the UK and internationally. This also validates the excellent work done by Management and Wood Creek to build a world class infrastructure platform."
Matt Sandoval, Managing Director – Wood Creek Capital Management
"WIG is a unique platform in the European independent tower sector. We look forward to continuing to work alongside management as well as 3i Infrastructure to support the Company as it builds new infrastructure and plays a leading role in sector M&A across Europe. We are very pleased with the momentum at WIG and with our new partnership with 3i Infrastructure."
Scott Coates, CEO of Wireless infrastructure Group:
"We are delighted to welcome 3i Infrastructure as a financial partner at a key moment in the Company's development. Bringing an established European infrastructure investor on board alongside our existing North American partner provides us with the financial capabilities needed to scale up our business through investment in up to £1 billion of new infrastructure. This will transform our ability to support our customers as they extend network coverage in rural areas and improve capacity in urban centres."
"3i infrastructure will provide us with additional long term capital and a partner to enable us to scale up our UK infrastructure footprint and also expand our presence in Western Europe. Independent infrastructure companies like WIG provide a conduit for long term infrastructure investors to support the telecoms industry as it takes on the challenges of expanding the quality and reach of connectivity."
""This is an exciting time for the European independent tower sector and with only approximately 25% of the region's communication towers independently operated there is a huge opportunity ahead."
Ben Loomes, Managing Partner and Co-head of Infrastructure, 3i Investments plc:
"We are delighted to be backing an industry leading platform at a pivotal time for the European independent tower sector. We have been impressed by the Company's focus on high quality shared infrastructure and its experienced management team. We look forward to supporting the Company's plans to expand its infrastructure base both here in the UK and elsewhere in Europe."
Notes to Editors
Wireless Infrastructure Group
WIG is an independent communications infrastructure provider head-quartered in Bellshill, Scotland. The Company builds and operates communication towers (masts) in rural and suburban areas together with fibre based networks to improve mobile coverage in large buildings and on city streets. The Company is fully independent of any network operator and invests in shareable infrastructure that is made available to all networks on an open and non-discriminatory basis.
Following its launch in 2006, WIG has invested in over 2,000 shared communications towers and other wireless infrastructure across the UK and its higher quality infrastructure enables industry leading levels of mobile and other wireless connectivity. The Company has also expanded recently into the Netherlands and Ireland.
In January 2016 the Company announced plans to invest a further £1 billion in UK infrastructure and has an active investment programme targeting:
- new towers in rural areas (where over 50% of investments have been made to date)
- new infrastructure to enable better connectivity on the UK's rail network
- small cells to improve mobile coverage in buildings and on city streets
WIG is also targeting expansion in the UK and Europe through the acquisition and upgrade of communication towers owned by mobile operators.
As an independent provider, WIG invests in infrastructure to support sharing by all mobile operators as well as over 100 other different wireless networks. WIG's communication towers are on average over 50% taller than those owned by mobile operators and are shared by more networks leading to better connectivity. International consultancy EY recently highlighted that across Europe and North America, independently operated towers support on average more than twice as many network customers as towers owned by mobile operators. Independent tower operators also attract new sources of investment into the telecoms sector and promote competition to build infrastructure.
Over 60% of communication towers globally and over 80% in the US are now independently operated. Only approximately 25% of European towers are independently operated - increasing the role of independent infrastructure can play a vital part in improving mobile connectivity.
3i Infrastructure plc is a Jersey-incorporated, closed-ended investment company, listed on the London Stock Exchange and regulated by the Jersey Financial Services Commission. The Company is a long-term investor in infrastructure businesses and assets. The Company's market focus is on economic infrastructure, primary PPP and low-risk energy projects in developed economies, principally in Europe, investing in operating businesses and projects which generate long-term yield and capital growth.
3i Investments plc, a wholly-owned subsidiary of 3i Group plc, is authorised and regulated in the UK by the Financial Conduct Authority and acts as Investment Adviser to 3i Infrastructure plc.
Wood Creek Capital Management
Headquartered in New Haven, Connecticut, Wood Creek Capital Management is a SEC-registered investment advisor founded in 2005 with holdings in tangible and intangible asset-based businesses. Wood Creek is an affiliate of Babson Capital Management LLC.
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SOURCE Wood Creek Capital Management, LLC