CDPQ to Acquire 30% Stake in U.S. Wireless Infrastructure Leader Vertical Bridge

Apr 02, 2019

Investment Will Support Company's Long-Term Growth Strategy

MONTRÉAL and BOCA RATON, Fla., April 2, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Long‑term institutional investor Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) today announced it has reached an agreement to acquire a thirty percent stake in the main operating subsidiary of Vertical Bridge Holdings, LLC, the largest private owner and operator of communications infrastructure in the United States.

Vertical Bridge will use the investment from CDPQ to continue to expand its portfolio of broadband and broadcast towers, small cells, real estate and other wireless infrastructure assets ahead of 5G deployment. Since its inception in 2014, Vertical Bridge has completed more than 250 acquisitions and grown its portfolio to over 266,000 sites, including more than 16,000 owned and master-leased towers, as well as the nation's largest and tallest private portfolio of broadcast towers.

"With this acquisition, we expand our exposure to telecommunications infrastructure by partnering with a first‑class operator that is strategically positioned in the market and brings a wealth of knowledge of the industry," said Emmanuel Jaclot, Executive Vice‑President, Infrastructure at CDPQ. "We are delighted to work alongside the Vertical Bridge team, and support the company's next stages of development and long-term growth in an attractive wireless infrastructure sector."

"Two key goals since the day we were founded have been to be a leader in wireless communications infrastructure and to have longevity as a private company. The commitment from CDPQ – as well our current investors' ongoing support – will allow us to continue to meet these objectives," said Alex Gellman, CEO and Co-Founder of Vertical Bridge. "We are thrilled to add CDPQ to our investor group, and look forward to working with them as we offer an even broader range of innovative infrastructure solutions to customers in the dynamic U.S. wireless and broadcast markets."

CDPQ joins a diverse group of long-term investors who have supported Vertical Bridge since its founding. The group includes Digital Bridge, The Jordan Company, Goldman Sachs Infrastructure Partners, Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners, The Edgewater Funds, CalSTRS and Dock Square Capital LLC. The Vertical Bridge executive team also holds a significant stake in the business.

"We are pleased to welcome CDPQ to the company's group of investors," said Marc Ganzi, Executive Chairman of Vertical Bridge and Co-Founder and CEO of Digital Bridge. "As the world prepares for the next generation of mobile technology, and coverage and capacity demands rise, their support and guidance will be a vital asset to the Board and to the management team as we collaborate to achieve our goals and support carriers by providing best-in-class digital infrastructure solutions."

The transaction is subject to various regulatory approvals. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

ABOUT CAISSE DE DÉPÔT ET PLACEMENT DU QUÉBEC 
Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) is a long-term institutional investor that manages funds primarily for public and parapublic pension and insurance plans. As at December 31, 2018, it held CA$309.5 billion in net assets. As one of Canada's leading institutional fund managers, CDPQ invests globally in major financial markets, private equity, infrastructure, real estate and private debt. For more information, visit cdpq.com, follow us on Twitter @LaCDPQ or consult our Facebook or LinkedIn pages.

ABOUT VERTICAL BRIDGE 
Vertical Bridge is the largest private owner and operator of communications infrastructure and locations in the United States. The company owns, operates and master leases over 266,000 tower, rooftop, billboard, utility attachment and other site locations in support of wireless network deployments. Based in Boca Raton, Florida, Vertical Bridge was founded in 2014 by key executives from Digital Bridge Holdings, LLC and former senior officers of Global Tower Partners. The senior management team at Vertical Bridge has over 200 years of collective experience in tower infrastructure and related sectors. For more information, please visit www.VerticalBridge.com.