New investment enables Mercury Broadband to accelerate network deployment across the Midwestern United States
Kansas City, MO and Toronto, ON (November 8, 2022) – Mercury Broadband (the “Company”) and global private markets investment firm Northleaf Capital Partners (“Northleaf”) today announced Northleaf’s acquisition of a controlling interest in Mercury Broadband. Funds managed by Northleaf will invest up to $230 million over the next several years to support Mercury Broadband’s vision to accelerate high-quality, broadband Internet services for underserved, rural communities across the Midwestern United States.
“The investment by Northleaf represents a major milestone for our company,” said Garrett Wiseman, CEO at Mercury Broadband. “We have ambitious growth plans and, with strong investment partners like Northleaf, we can fulfill our goal of aggressively delivering advanced, high speed Internet services to more underserved communities.”
Mercury Broadband is a recent recipient of Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) grants by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to bring fiber optic broadband to underserved communities across the US Midwest. The construction is expected to span over 12,000 miles and deliver high-speed Internet to tens of thousands of customers. The RDOF award together with the investment from Northleaf will support the Company’s objective of expanding essential fiber infrastructure to rural communities.
“We have been impressed by Garrett and the team at Mercury Broadband and are excited to partner with them. Their ten-year long track record of responsibly participating in government programs to help connect communities positions them well in the current environment,” said Chris Rigobon, Director at Northleaf. “Mercury Broadband's commitment to bridging the digital divide is an excellent fit with our communications infrastructure investment strategy and provides our investors with exposure to an attractive sector with a compelling risk/return profile and significant growth potential.”
Construction on the new service areas has already begun. The deployment effort will take approximately six years and will include hundreds of fixed wireless access sites, along with more than 12,000 miles of constructed outside fiber plant. Services will be built and launched across select markets in Kansas, Indiana, Missouri, Michigan, Ohio and Illinois.
Truist Securities, Inc. served as the financial advisor and Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer and Feld LLP served as legal counsel to Mercury Broadband on the transaction. Northleaf was advised by Wilkinson Barker Knauer, LLP.
About Mercury Broadband
Mercury Broadband is a leading provider of high-speed Internet and digital phone services for homes and businesses across select rural markets in the Midwest. The company was founded in Topeka, KS, after recognizing a need for broadband services in the underserved markets. A hybrid approach to serving the “last mile” customers was developed by extending high-capacity fiber optic networks with the range, reliability, and flexibility of carrier-class wireless technologies to provide next generation services to customers.
For more information on Mercury Broadband, please visit www.mercurybroadband.com.
About Northleaf Capital Partners
Northleaf Capital Partners is a global private markets investment firm with US$21 billion in private equity, private credit and infrastructure commitments raised to date from public, corporate and multi-employer pension plans, endowments, foundations, financial institutions and family offices. Northleaf’s team of 200 professionals, located in Toronto, Chicago, London, Los Angeles, Melbourne, Menlo Park, Montreal and New York, is focused exclusively on sourcing, evaluating and managing private markets investments globally. Its portfolio includes more than 500 active investments in more than 40 countries, with a focus on mid-market companies and assets.
Northleaf’s infrastructure program targets direct, long-term investments in mid-market assets that deliver essential services in select OECD countries. The program’s flexibility allows Northleaf to execute on transactions that are well-diversified by geography, revenue type and sub-sector in core regions of the OECD infrastructure market.
For more information on Northleaf, please visit www.northleafcapital.com.
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