Bain Capital Credit, a multi-strategy investment manager, today announced that it has agreed to acquire a majority stake in Surf Broadband Solutions, a fiber broadband provider in the Great Lakes region of the United States, from Post Road Group. Furthermore, Bain Capital Credit is committing additional growth capital to accelerate the company’s fiber optic network expansion.
Additionally, Post Road Group, Surf Broadband’s current majority shareholder, will remain a minority investor alongside Bain Capital Credit. In turn, Post Road Group will commit further equity towards the company’s growth plans.
Finally, the transaction is expected to close during Q3 2021.
Surf Broadband Solutions – Overview
Surf Broadband provides predominately fiber-based broadband to 13.5k customers which include residential subscribers, businesses, educational institutions, and municipalities. Specifically, the company provides its services in three states, being Indiana, Illinois, and Michigan, with its primary focus on serving rural communities.
Presently, Surf Broadband’s fiber build pacing averages ~300 route miles annually.
Surf Broadband Solutions was formerly known as Surf Air Wireless. In January 2019, the company secured a $40m investment from Post Road Group, alongside its acquisition of FreedomNet Wireless.
Using Bain Capital Credit and Post Road Group’s financial support, Surf Broadband will accelerate its roll-out of fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) services to underserved areas across the Great Lakes region.
Surf Broadband will continue operating under its current leadership team, which includes its Chief Executive Officer, Gene Crusie.
CBRS (Auction 105) – 3.5 GHz Band
Surf Broadband, through bidding entity Surf Air Wireless, LLC participated in the FCC’s Auction 105 for the CBRS 3.5 GHz spectrum. Overall, the company won 99 licenses across 34 counties in Indiana, Illinois, and Michigan for a total spend of $4.4m.
CBRS spectrum allows for a cost-effective and straightforward way to deploy private networks. Currently, Surf Broadband operates fixed wireless and microwave backhaul networks for commercial and industrial customers.
Indeed, the company has built multiple 5G base station locations to serve as primary and back-up connectivity sites for these customers. Notably, Surf Broadband’s fixed wireless 5G delivers speeds of up to 2 gigabits per second.
Transaction Advisors – Bain Capital Credit and Surf Broadband Solutions
Bain Capital Credit’s legal counsel was Kirkland & Ellis.
Surf Broadband’s financial advisor was Houlihan Lokey. Additionally, Surf Broadband’s legal counsel was Perkins Coie.