Carlyle Group, a global private equity firm, via its Global Infrastructure funds, today announced that it has committed up to $1 billion to partner with Tillman Global Holdings to invest in Tillman Infrastructure, a privately-held independent cell tower company in the United States.
Tillman Infrastructure focuses on developing build-to-suit (BTS) tower sites for the United States’ largest wireless carriers including Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile. Presently, Tillman Infrastructure operates over 1,700 macro towers and markets a rooftop site portfolio with an additional 600 sites – meaning Tillman offers a total of 2,300 sites in the United States.
Tillman Infrastructure – Carlyle Backs Cell Tower Growth
Tillman Infrastructure was founded in 2016 and is headquartered in New York City, New York. The company’s constructed tower portfolio spans over 30 states, primarily in the Southeast, Southwest, and Midwest of the United States. Geographically, examples of Tillman Infrastructure’s top states, by constructed sites, are Texas, Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Ohio.
Tillman Infrastructure primarily serves the United States’ largest wireless carriers including Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T. Additionally, in February 2021, DISH Network signed an agreement with Tillman Infrastructure for the use of its towers as part of its 5G network build-out.
Carlyle Group’s investment will support Tillman Infrastructure’s build-to-suit (BTS) cell tower growth in the United States for wireless carriers.
Tillman Infrastructure is led by Suruchi Ahuja as CEO and William Hague as Vice Chairman. Prior to joining Tillman, Hague was with AT&T in the role of Executive Vice President where he led the Global Connection Management and Tower Leasing businesses.
In July 2018, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), a Canadian pension fund, and AMP Capital, an Australian infrastructure investment manager, committed up to $1 billion to finance Tillman Infrastructure’s construction of new telecommunications towers across the United States. Subsequently, in October 2020, UBS Asset Management, on behalf of a U.S. pension plan, acquired a minority stake in the company.
Tillman Global Holdings
Tillman Global Holdings is the majority, controlling shareholder of Tillman Infrastructure. This holding company was founded in 2013 by Sanjiv Ahuja, who is currently Chairman of Tillman Global. Additionally, Sachit Ahuja, is the Managing Director of Tillman Global.
Tillman Global builds, owns, and operates platforms in the digital infrastructure sector, including Tillman Infrastructure and Tillman Networks.
Carlyle Group’s legal advisor was Greenberg Traurig.
Tillman Global’s financial advisor was TAP Advisors. Additionally, Tillman Global’s legal advisor was Sullivan & Cromwell.
Carlyle Group – Overview
Carlyle Group has $376 billion of assets under management as of June 30, 2022. The firm’s infrastructure business invests in six primary sectors, including renewables, energy, water & waste, transportation, digital, and power generation.
Within digital infrastructure and beyond Tillman Global / Infrastructure, Carlyle Group has also acquired stakes in Wyyerd Fiber Group and Involta Data Centers:
- Wyyerd Fiber Group: regional fiber-to-home (FTTH) business in the Southwestern United States. Most recently, the firm completed a bolt-on fiber acquisition for the Wyyerd Group business in December 2021
- Involta Data Centers: United States data center operator focused on retail colocation and managed services, which also owns and manages fiber
Carlyle Group’s digital infrastructure investment team is led by Joshua Pang, who is Head of Digital Infrastructure for Carlyle Global Infrastructure.