Communications infrastructure provider BAI Communications (BAI) has agreed to acquire Mobilitie, one of the largest privately held telecommunications infrastructure companies in the United States. The acquisition represents a major expansion of BAI’s business in North America where it provides cellular and Wi-Fi connectivity across large infrastructure projects, including the New York City subway system, under its majority owned business Transit Wireless. It also significantly extends BAI’s footprint coast-to-coast across one of the world’s fastest growing connected infrastructure markets. The transaction is subject to customary regulatory clearances and is expected to close in the third quarter of this year.
According to the company, the acquisition of Mobilitie is a significant step in BAI Communications’ growth strategy, supporting its move towards becoming one of the leading connected infrastructure 5G players in North America, as well as globally.
The deal brings together what BAI calls “a highly complementary offering” between the two organisations, enabling BAI to immediately extend and diversify its solution and service offering beyond its current global markets. It marries Mobilitie’s assets and operations across 5G outdoor and indoor wireless infrastructure, worldwide credibility in small cell deployment, and its work with transit operators across major US cities with BAI’s long-standing proven expertise in delivering communications infrastructure in dense urban and transit environments.
Igor Leprince, Group CEO of BAI Communications (pictured), said: “BAI’s acquisition of Mobilitie establishes us as a leading telecommunications infrastructure provider in the United States and the most relevant provider of public transit wireless connectivity solutions in North America. This reflects our ambitions for the US as well as the other markets in which we operate globally and puts us in the perfect position to capitalise on the growing prioritisation of connected infrastructure in regions such as the UK and Europe. The scale and strong relationships with large venue operators and mobile network operators that Mobilitie brings fits perfectly with BAI’s existing leadership in connected transit and infrastructure.
“Mobilitie, like BAI, places a high priority on offering technical expertise and impeccable delivery to its customers, alongside its deep commitment to exceptional customer service. This alignment and the complementary fit of our offerings make this an exciting move for BAI and our customers around the world. It strongly positions us to scale and extend the work we are already delivering,” he added.
Backed by Mobilitie’s Founder and Chairman, Gary Jabara, and Shamrock Capital, Mobilitie’s portfolio includes existing agreements to provide wireless communications to the public transit systems in Seattle and the San Francisco Bay Area. The acquisition will also add Mobilitie’s broader portfolio of 220 venues across 39 states, 10,000 small cells across 45 states, and 300 tower sites across 14 states to BAI’s operations. This builds on BAI’s provision of neutral host infrastructure in the major subways of New York, Toronto, and Hong Kong, and in Australia with one of the most extensive broadcast networks in the world. It will also support BAI’s expansion in the UK and Europe as it pursues, and wins, significant opportunities.
Gary Jabara, Founder and Chairman of Mobilitie said: “We’re very excited about this transaction, which augments Mobilitie’s market impact worldwide. BAI’s significance as a 5G player, together with Mobilitie, will enable unprecedented support of US wireless carriers. It puts us on a clear, long-term path to greatly accelerate business and help our customers, especially the mobile network operators.”
He concluded, “Combining BAI’s connectivity solutions and international presence with Mobilitie’s North American assets, including our nationwide footprint of tier one venues, public transit systems in the San Francisco Bay
Area and Seattle, along with 10,000 small cells and thousands of New York small cells that are in and around BAI’s existing assets, makes us better positioned for 5G growth than anyone else in North America.”
Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPP Investments), BAI’s majority shareholder, welcomed this announcement. Commenting on the acquisition, CPP Investments’ Head of Portfolio Value Creation and non-executive director on the BAI Communications Board of Directors, Max Biagosch said: “This acquisition is an exciting and dynamic move for the BAI business and represents an attractive opportunity for CPP Investments to increase its financial commitments and generate long-term sustainable returns for our contributors and beneficiaries. It is a true enhancement of our broader portfolio, extending our investment in digital infrastructure which is critical to people and communities around the world as our lives become increasingly dependent on connectivity.”
Ben Hawkins, Senior Vice President, Infrastructure & Renewable Resources, at Alberta Investment Management Corporation, a minority shareholder in BAI, said: “As a long-term investor, on behalf of our clients, we are proud to support the management team of BAI in its successful acquisition of Mobilitie. BAI has a demonstrated track record of successfully integrating companies as part of its growth strategy and realising the full value of the combined entities for all stakeholders.”