ExteNet, the largest private owner and operator of distributed antenna systems (DAS) and small cell networks in the United States, today announced that long-term institutional investor John Hancock Life Insurance Company is leading a consortium that will acquire a 30% minority stake in the company.

John Hancock will join existing investors in ExteNet, including Colony Capital (through Digital Colony Partners I) and Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners. ExteNet will utilize the investment from John Hancock to fund its future growth as it scales for 5G network densification. Further, ExteNet will address the advanced connectivity needs of its customers including mobile network operators, carriers, property owners and enterprises.

PJT Partners and Simpson, Thacher & Bartlett served as financial advisor and legal counsel, respectively, to ExteNet and its existing investors. Likewise, TAP Advisors and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison served as financial advisor and legal counsel, respectively, to John Hancock.

Existing Shareholders

In November 2015, Digital Bridge (now part of Colony Capital), Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners, Goldman Sachs and Delta-V Capital acquired ExteNet for $1.4 billion from a consortium of Palomar Ventures, Quantum Strategic Partners, SBA Communications (NASDAQ: SBAC), Columbia Capital, Centennial Ventures, Sevin Rosen Funds and CentrePoint Ventures.

ExteNet Background

ExteNet designs, builds, owns, and operates distributed networks for use by wireless carriers and venue owners in key strategic markets. Using distributed antenna systems (DAS), small cells and Wi-Fi, ExteNet deploys networks to enhance coverage and capacity and enable superior wireless service in both outdoor and indoor environments.

Primary markets addressed by ExteNet include outdoor distributed networks in a variety of densely occupied or heavily traveled settings. Additionally, the company operates as a host for indoor verticals. Indoor buildings addressed include sports & entertainment venues, hotels, commercial buildings, and healthcare facilities.

ExteNet operates 31.0k small cell nodes and 600 C-RAN hubs. Additionally, the company has 4.0k owned fiber route miles and 16.0k leased fiber route miles across the United States.

Adam Simmons covers Towers for Dgtl Infra, including American Tower (NYSE: AMT), Crown Castle (NYSE: CCI), SBA Communications (NASDAQ: SBAC), Cellnex Telecom (BME: CLNX), Vantage Towers (ETR: VTWR), IHS Holding (NYSE: IHS), and many more. Within Towers, Adam focuses on the sub-sectors of ground-based cell towers, rooftop sites, broadcast / radio towers, and 5G. Adam has over 7 years of experience in research and writing for Towers.


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