The Jordan Company, Goldman Sachs Asset Management and Stonepeak Partners Exit Investment in Vertical Bridge

Founding Shareholders Exit Vertical Bridge After Successful Seven-year Investment

August 10, 2021 09:15 AM Eastern Daylight Time

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Jordan Company, the infrastructure business within Goldman Sachs Asset Management, and Stonepeak Partners, founding shareholders in Vertical Bridge Holdings, LLC, today announced the sale of their interests in the business following a successful seven-year investment. Financial details of the sale transaction were not disclosed.

Vertical Bridge is the largest private owner and operator of wireless communications infrastructure and locations in the United States. Since its inception in 2014, Vertical Bridge has completed more than 300 acquisitions and grown its portfolio to more than 308,000 sites, including over 8,000 owned and master-leased towers and the nation’s largest and tallest collection of broadcast tower sites.

“I could not be more proud of the talented team at Vertical Bridge that has driven our significant growth and scaled our platform to meet the evolving needs of our customers,” said Alex Gellman, CEO and Co-Founder of Vertical Bridge. “We are grateful for the strategic support and resources The Jordan Company, Goldman Sachs and Stonepeak have provided as we have grown the business and built innovative infrastructure solutions for customers. We look forward to the next chapter for Vertical Bridge in partnership with institutional investors who have embraced our private, permanent and at scale growth strategy for the business.”

“We’re proud to have been part of the company’s journey since inception, which has been characterized by best-in-class leadership, substantial platform expansion and industry leading growth,” said Eion Hu, Partner at The Jordan Company.

“We have really enjoyed partnering with the Vertical Bridge team on this journey and we wish them the best as they continue to drive growth and build value,” said Leonard Seevers, Managing Director within Goldman Sachs Asset Management.

“Our partnership with Alex and the Vertical Bridge team is the culmination of a long-held, shared conviction in the increasing criticality of wireless infrastructure and successful execution of our strategy in the sector,” said Brian McMullen, Senior Managing Director at Stonepeak.

The transaction is subject to various regulatory approvals and is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2021.

ABOUT VERTICAL BRIDGE

Vertical Bridge REIT, LLC is the largest private owner and operator of communications infrastructure and locations in the United States. The Company owns, operates and master leases over 308,000 tower, rooftop, billboard, utility attachment, convenience store and other site locations in support of wireless network deployments. Based in Boca Raton, Florida, Vertical Bridge was founded in 2014. The senior management team at Vertical Bridge has over 300 years of collective experience in tower infrastructure and related sectors. In 2020, Vertical Bridge added over 1,300 owned towers to its portfolio, including those from its acquisition of towers from Cumulus Media Inc. (NASDAQ: CMLS), its merger with Eco-Site and from another record year of newly-built towers. Vertical Bridge is certified CarbonNeutral® and in 2020, became the first tower company in the world to reach net-zero emissions. For more information, please visit www.verticalbridge.com.

ABOUT THE JORDAN COMPANY

The Jordan Company, founded in 1982, is a middle-market private equity firm with original capital commitments in excess of $16 billion with a 39-year track record of investing in and contributing to the growth of many businesses across a wide range of industries. The senior investment team has been investing together for over 20 years, and they are supported by the Operations Management Group, which was established in 1988 to initiate and support operational improvements in portfolio companies. Headquartered in New York, TJC also has an office in Chicago. For more information, visit www.thejordancompany.com.

ABOUT GOLDMAN SACHS ASSET MANAGEMENT INFRASTRUCTURE

Bringing together traditional and alternative investments, Goldman Sachs Asset Management provides clients around the world with a dedicated partnership and focus on long-term performance. As the primary investing area within Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS), we deliver investment and advisory services for the world’s leading institutions, financial advisors and individuals, drawing from our deeply connected global network and tailored expert insights, across every region and market—overseeing more than $2 trillion in assets under supervision worldwide as of June 30, 2021. Driven by a passion for our clients’ performance, we seek to build long-term relationships based on conviction, sustainable outcomes, and shared success over time. Goldman Sachs Asset Management invests in the full spectrum of alternatives, including private equity, growth equity, private credit, real estate and infrastructure. Established in 2006, the Infrastructure business within Goldman Sachs Asset Management has consistently navigated the evolving infrastructure asset class, having invested approximately $13 billion in infrastructure assets across market cycles since its inception. We partner with experienced operators and management teams across multiple sectors, including digital infrastructure, energy transition, transportation & logistics and essential services. Follow us on LinkedIn.

ABOUT STONEPEAK

Stonepeak is a leading alternative investment firm specializing in infrastructure and real assets with approximately $37 billion of assets under management. Through its investment in defensive, hard-asset businesses globally, Stonepeak aims to create value for its investors and portfolio companies, and to have a positive impact on the communities in which it operates. Stonepeak sponsors investment vehicles focused on private equity and credit. The firm provides capital, operational support, and committed partnership to sustainably grow investments in its target sectors, which include communications and digital infrastructure, transport and logistics, water, energy transition, and power and renewable energy. Stonepeak is headquartered in New York with offices in Houston, Austin and Hong Kong. For more information, please visit https://stonepeakpartners.com/.

Buddy Norman

Vice President of Real Estate Development

Buddy Norman is the Vice President of Real Estate Development of Vertical Bridge. Mr. Norman is responsible for all excess real estate leasing and disposition, ground lease amendment negotiations and ground lease buyouts.

Prior to joining Vertical Bridge, Mr. Norman founded and served as President of KW Commercial, one of the largest national commercial real estate brokerage firms in the United States. Under his leadership, KW Commercial expanded to over 1,700 commercial agents in 450 cities completing over $7 billion in transaction volume for 2015. Mr. Norman started his commercial real estate career at the Staubach Company where he was promoted to co-managing partner in Southern California.

Bob Glosson

Senior Vice President of Real Estate Solutions

Bob Glosson is the Senior Vice President of Real Estate Solutions at Vertical Bridge. Mr. Glosson leads Vertical Bridge’s Strategic Assets Group, which is responsible for the acquisition, management and leasing of the firm’s third-party-owned assets including rooftops, billboards, and utility transmission structures.

Previous to Vertical Bridge, Mr. Glosson was the President and Chief Operating Officer of Eco-Site, a leading developer of wireless communication, tower sites and infrastructure. As President and COO of Eco-Site, Mr. Glosson was responsible for nationwide sales, tower development, and operations. Earlier, Mr. Glosson served as Senior Vice President of Global Sales at Bandwidth.com, an enterprise cloud communications company, and as Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Shared Access, a wireless tower operator in the U.K. and Ireland. Prior to Shared Access, Mr. Glosson held increasing roles of responsibility at SpectraSite Communications, including Vice president of Business Development for its Building division and Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing for the Tower, Rooftop and In-Building division.

Mr. Glosson received a Bachelor of Science from Drexel University and a Master of Business Administration from Temple University.

Alex Gellman

Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder

Alex Gellman is the Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Vertical Bridge, the largest private owner and operator of wireless communications infrastructure in the US. As CEO, he is responsible for developing and leading the firm’s overall strategy and growth. Mr. Gellman is also a co-founder of Digital Bridge Holdings, a leading global investor and owner of mobile and internet infrastructure, which was acquired by Colony Capital, Inc (NYSE: CLNY) in 2019.

Prior to co-founding Vertical Bridge, Mr. Gellman was President and COO of Global Tower Partners. Mr. Gellman was instrumental in growing the company into what was the largest privately-held tower company in the United States at the time of its sale to American Tower Corporation in 2013 for over $4.8 billion. Previously, Mr. Gellman served as President and COO of Sonitrol Corporation, a leading provider of verified electronic security in North America, which was sold to Stanley Works (NYSE: SWK) in 2008.

Earlier in his career, Mr. Gellman co-founded Apex Site Management, the largest third-party manager of wireless and wireline communications sites in the U.S., which merged with SpectraSite Communications in 2000 to create the largest telecommunications site portfolio in the country. Mr. Gellman also co-founded and was VP of Development of Horizon Cellular Group, a McCaw Cellular-backed company that acquired, developed and operated rural cellular franchises in the eastern United States.

Mr. Gellman received an MBA in Finance and Accounting from The Wharton School of Business and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Tufts University. He currently sits on the Board of Directors of the Wireless Infrastructure Association, serving as Vice Chairman, and is also on the Boards of Directors of the FreshWave Group and Highline do Brasil.

Bernard Borghei

Executive Vice President of Operations and Co-Founder

Bernard Borghei is the Co-Founder and Executive Vice President of Operations at Vertical Bridge. Mr. Borghei is responsible for Vertical Bridge’s daily operations, engineering services, regulatory compliance, vendor management and human resources, including the company’s health and safety program. He has nearly 30 years of experience in wireless and telecommunications infrastructure.  

As EVP of Operations, Mr. Borghei directs the firm’s emerging technologies initiatives, such as in-building wireless and edge computing micro data centers, as Vertical Bridge continues to bring innovative infrastructure solutions the telecommunications industry. In addition, Mr. Borghei directs Vertical Bridge’s ESG program, including its status as a CarbonNeutral® company, its renewable energy solutions and its efforts to ensure a diverse and equitable workforce.

Prior to co-founding Vertical Bridge, he served as Senior Vice President and Partner at Global Tower Partners, which at the time of its sale to American Tower for $4.8 billion in 2013, was the largest private tower company in the U.S. In his role, Mr. Borghei ran domestic and international market operations for a portfolio of more than 6,500 towers and 12,000 managed properties. He also oversaw all new site development in the LATAM markets. Earlier in his career, Mr. Borghei held executive and senior management positions at several wireless operators and service providers including SkyBitz, Wireless Facilities, Inc. Western Wireless International, and at Triton PCS.

Mr. Borghei has a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Villanova University and an MBA in global management from the University of Phoenix. He serves on the Advisory Board for the Villanova School of Engineering Entrepreneurship program; the Board of Governors of the National Wireless Safety Alliance; the Board of Directors of the Tower Family Foundation, serving as Chairman of its Endowment Committee; and the Board of Directors for FreshWave Group, a U.K.-based digital infrastructure company owned by Digital Colony.

Michael Belski

Executive Vice President of Leasing & Marketing and Co-Founder

Michael Belski is the Co-Founder and Executive Vice President, Leasing & Marketing of Vertical Bridge. He is responsible for creating deep relationships with clients, working with some of the country’s largest carriers to develop leasing contracts.

Prior to co-founding Vertical Bridge, Mr. Belski was the Senior Vice President of Leasing & Marketing at Global Tower Partners (GTP), where he was responsible for leasing and marketing the company’s portfolio of assets and securing build-to-suit contracts.

Mr. Belski previously held senior positions at Morrison Hershfield Corporation and SBA Communications Corporation.

Michael Romaniw

Chief Financial Officer

Mike Romaniw is the Chief Financial Officer of Vertical Bridge. He is responsible for all financial aspects of the company including accounting, finance, tax, treasury, budgeting, forecasting, and investor relations.

Prior to joining Vertical Bridge, Mr. Romaniw was Chief Financial Officer of the Sterling Organization, Senior Vice President of Finance for Parmenter Realty Partners, and held various tax and financial management roles at the AES Corporation. Mr. Romaniw started his career with Ernst & Young and has Master of Business Administration and Master of Taxation degrees from Canisius College, a BA from McMaster University, and is a Certified Public Accountant.

Dale Carey

Executive Vice President of Strategy and Convergence

Dale Carey is the Executive Vice President of Strategy and Convergence at Vertical Bridge. Mr. Carey is responsible for identifying new convergence opportunities across the digital infrastructure ecosystem and coordinating with other providers, particularly those within the Digital Colony portfolio, to bring new infrastructure offerings to our customers.

Prior to joining Vertical Bridge, Mr. Carey was Founder, Chairman and CEO of Eco-Site, a leading developer of wireless communication, tower sites and infrastructure. As CEO of Eco-Site, Mr. Carey led the firm from its inception to become the sixth largest privately held tower company in the U.S., with 700 towers across 38 states. Prior to Eco-Site, Mr. Carey was President and COO of Shared Access, a wireless tower operator in the U.K. and Ireland. He also served as President of SpectraSite Communications’ U.S. Wireless division, which encompassed 8,000 towers and 20,000 rooftops, and was also President of its Building division, where he pioneered the firm’s use of the neutral-host distributed antenna system model. Earlier in his career, Mr. Carey spent 11 years at AT&T/Vanguard Cellular Systems, most recently serving as Vice President for the mid-Atlantic region.

Mr. Carey holds a Bachelor of Arts from Temple University. He serves on the Board of Advisors at the J.D. Brown Center for Entrepreneurship at York College.

Bob Paige

Senior Vice President of Mergers & Acquisitions

Bob Paige is the Senior Vice President of Mergers & Acquisitions of Vertical Bridge. Mr. Paige is responsible for all portfolio acquisitions, joint ventures and other strategic transactions.

Prior to joining Vertical Bridge, Mr. Paige was a Principal and Telecom M&A Group Head at Brown Brothers Harriman where he led all assignments for companies in the telecommunications industry with a specific focus on the wireline and wireless sector. He also served as the Managing Director at Falkenberg Capital Corporation where he advised wireline and wireless companies in M&A transactions.

Mr. Paige started his career as a telecom lending executive with Northern Telecom and GE Capital.

Daniel Marinberg

Senior Vice President and General Counsel

Dan Marinberg is the Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Vertical Bridge. Mr. Marinberg is responsible for legal, regulatory and government affairs, as well as Secretary to the Board of Directors. 

Prior to joining Vertical Bridge, Mr. Marinberg was a partner at top international law firm Greenberg Traurig where his practice focused on real estate including, acquisitions and dispositions of commercial real estate, financings, leasing, development, and joint venture structuring for individual properties and multi-asset portfolios. He also assisted clients with international issues arising from these transactions.

Johnny Crawford

Senior Vice President of Development

Johnny Crawford is the Senior Vice President Development of Vertical Bridge. He is responsible for overseeing all sales and delivery of build-to-suit opportunities for the company.

Prior to joining Vertical Bridge, Mr. Crawford was Vice President of Business Development, Network Services at SBA Communications Corporation where he was responsible for sales to SBA’s national customers. Additionally, he has served as Vice President of Engineering and Operations for Airgate PCS, a Sprint PCS affiliate and as Director of Engineering and Operations for Sprint, where he launched one of the first PCS markets. Mr. Crawford was also a co-owner of Optima Towers, a South Carolina-based regional tower owner.

Mr. Crawford was recently appointed as a Board Member for Music-Movement.Org, a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization that develops and funds music centric programs for children and young adults living with autism.

Tim Shine

Senior Vice President of IT

Tim Shine is Senior Vice President of Information Technology (IT) at Vertical Bridge. Mr. Shine is responsible for implementing technology-driven solutions across all aspects of Vertical Bridge’s business to deliver more streamlined and efficient processes and solutions for clients. He brings more than 25 years of experience in IT and strategic-technology initiatives to Vertical Bridge.

Prior to joining Vertical Bridge, Mr. Shine served as Vice President of IT at Improving (formerly Innovative Architects). Mr. Shine led Improving’s expansion to South Florida and was responsible for directing IT-focused technology projects across the region. Previously, Mr. Shine served as Vice President of IT at NationsBuilders Insurance Services, where he planned, developed, and led IT initiatives enabling the company to more effectively manage itself. Earlier in his career, Mr. Shine spent 12 years with HomeBanc Mortgage in increasing roles of responsibility, most recently as VP of Application Development.

Mr. Shine holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics from Florida Atlantic University.

Richard Stern

Senior Vice President of Real Estate

Richard Stern is a Senior Vice President of Real Estate at Vertical Bridge. Mr. Stern works closely with the Strategic Assets Group and is responsible for real estate acquisition and site management, with a specific focus on partnering with convenience stores and other single story retail locations as 5G deployment sites.

Prior to joining Vertical Bridge, Mr. Stern was Co-Founder, Executive Vice President and General Counsel at Eco-Site, a leading developer of wireless communication, tower sites and infrastructure. As General Counsel, Mr. Stern negotiated all Eco-Site’s master agreements with wireless carriers and secured third party real estate relationships establishing Eco-Site’s ability to market and lease over 20,000 C-Store and quick serve restaurant locations. Previously, Mr. Stern was CEO of Access to Money, a publicly-traded automated teller machine company, which was sold to Cardtronics in November 2012. Earlier, he held executive roles at SpectraSite Communications, including Vice President of Real Estate for the Building division, where he was instrumental in establishing the in-building neutral-host model. Mr. Stern began his wireless career as General Counsel for Apex Site Management.

Mr. Stern received a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from The University of Pennsylvania, a Juris Doctor from Boston University School of Law, and a Master of Law in Taxation from New York University School of Law.

Ariel Rubin

Vice President of Tower Development

Ariel Rubin joined Vertical Bridge in September 2016 as the Vice President of Tower Development. He previously served as Senior Vice President of Operations for Mexico Tower Partners and previously as Project Director at Global Tower Partners, where he oversaw the ongoing development and operations for the LATAM region. He also was responsible for compliance, site maintenance, vendor qualification and implemented initiatives to optimize cost and process.

Prior to joining Global Tower Partners, Mr. Rubin was a Shareholder with Morrison Hershfield Corporation (MHC). During his almost 11-year tenure at MHC, Mr. Rubin was the Director of Site Development and was responsible for project delivery. This included architectural and engineering designs for cell sites, and due diligence activities on cell sites and rooftops throughout North America.

Mr. Rubin has over 16 years of experience in the telecommunications industry and is a registered Professional Engineer. He holds a Bachelor degree of Civil Engineering and a Master’s degree in Structural Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Allan Tantillo

Vice President of Contracts and Procurement

Allan Tantillo is the Vice President of Contracts and Procurement at Vertical Bridge.

Prior to joining Vertical Bridge, Tantillo served as Senior Director for National Site Development at T-Mobile USA, where he implemented coverage strategies related to site development and was responsible for managing the properties of more than 50,000 cellular sites. Tantillo also held additional management roles at T-Mobile including Director for T-Mobile Towers, Senior Manager of National Development and Area Development Manager. Previous to his work with T-Mobile, he worked with Lake Communications, LCS Properties and Wirthlin Group.

Tantillo graduated from Brigham Young University with a Bachelors in Economics.

Daniela Giannoccoli

Vice President of Finance

Daniela Giannoccoli is the Vice President of Finance for Vertical Bridge where she is responsible for Vertical Bridge’s planning and forecasting and provides crucial financial perspectives to help drive the company forward. Her experience includes more than 15 years of experience in Financial Planning & Analysis as well as 5 years of experience in the wireless telecommunication industry.

Prior to joining Vertical Bridge, Ms. Giannoccoli was the Manager of Financial Planning and Analysis at Global Tower Partners where she was responsible for overseeing the budget as well as department financial reviews and capital expenditure reporting. Previously, she was the Vice President of Financial Analysis and Reporting for Maritime Telecommunication Network where she oversaw all finance and treasury functions.

Kimberly White

Vice President of Accounting

Kimberly White is the Vice President of Accounting of Vertical Bridge. She is responsible for all aspects of accounting and financial reporting.

Prior to joining Vertical Bridge, Ms. White was the Vice President of Corporate Accounting for Cross Country Healthcare and Chief Financial Officer for Siemens Enterprise Communications. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Accounting from the University of West Georgia and is also a Certified Public Accountant.

Adam Ginder

Associate General Counsel

Adam Ginder is the Associate General Counsel of Vertical Bridge. He is responsible for assisting the General Counsel on all legal, regulatory and government affairs for the company.

Prior to joining Vertical Bridge, Mr. Ginder was in-house counsel for both a leading boutique residential brokerage firm and a commercial developer. He also served as an attorney for a well-known law firm where focused on real estate litigation as well as commercial real estate transactions.

Mr. Ginder received his Bachelor of Arts with honors from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and his JD from Brooklyn Law School.

Michael De Boer

Vice President of Structural Engineering

Michael T. De Boer is the Vice President of Structural Engineering at Vertical Bridge. He is responsible for overseeing all structural integrity and design of communication structures and foundations.

Prior to joining Vertical Bridge, Mr. De Boer served as Senior Technical Director at Bennett and Pless Engineering in Atlanta, Georgia where he was responsible for the company’s telecommunications projects and small commercial building projects. Previously, he held roles as Senior Director of Engineering at Global Tower Partners (GTP), Senior Engineer at Global Signal Services LLC and Engineering Manager at Sabre Communications Corporation.

Mr. De Boer received his Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from South Dakota State University and is licensed in 48 states and the District of Columbia as a Professional Engineer.

Kimberlee Mulhare

Vice President of Human Resources

Kimberlee Mulhare is the Vice President of Human Resources of Vertical Bridge and has over 15 years of experience in Human Resources and in the telecommunications industry. She is responsible for the human resource function, including business partnering, talent and organizational development, compensation and benefits, and human resource operations.

Prior to joining Vertical Bridge, Mrs. Mulhare was the Senior Manager of Human Resources for American Tower Corporation. Previously, she was the Director of Human Resources for Global Tower Partners where she managed employees across the United States, Mexico, and Costa Rica.

Joe Meleski

Vice President Broadcast Leasing

Joe Meleski is the Vice President of Leasing at Vertical Bridge. He has more than two decades of broadcast experience. Most recently, Meleski served as Vice President of U.S. Sales at Electronics Research, Inc. (ERI), a leading manufacturer of FM and TV antenna products and provider of broadcast solutions. Throughout his career, Meleski has also been directly involved with some of the largest broadcast tower and antenna projects in North America, including overseeing the installations division in North America and managing 12 to 14 broadcast tower and antenna construction crews. Meleski earned his engineering degree from ITT Technical Institute in Evansville, Indiana.

Jim McCulloch

Senior Vice President of Real Estate

Jim McCulloch is the Senior Vice President of Real Estate of Vertical Bridge. Mr. McCulloch is responsible for the development and expansion of Vertical Bridge’s real estate portfolio.

Prior to joining Vertical Bridge, Mr. McCulloch was Vice President of Real Estate for Global Tower Partners (GTP) where he developed the company’s real estate portfolio and expanded existing landlord relationships.

His experience also includes serving as partner at DGP Development, a leading provider of Distributed Antenna Systems to hotels and sports stadiums and a successful consulting practice advising buyers, sellers, and owners of commercial real estate on a variety of technology and financial matters. Additionally, he was vice president of Information Technology for Destination Hotels and Resorts.

Marc Ganzi

Executive Chairman

Marc Ganzi is a successful real estate and telecommunications entrepreneur. In addition to serving as Executive Chairman of Vertical Bridge, he is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Digital Bridge Holdings, LLC. He previously co-founded Global Tower Partners (GTP), an owner and operator of communications, real estate and related companies, where he played an instrumental role in building the business, which was ultimately sold in 2013 for over $4.8 billion.

Prior to GTP, Mr. Ganzi was a consulting partner at Deutsche Bank’s DB Capital Partners overseeing the institution’s radio tower sector investments in Latin and North America. His other earlier experience includes Apex Site Management and the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Foreign Commercial Service Department.

Mr. Ganzi is a member of Young Presidents’ Organization, a Director of Olympus Media, LLC, and a three-time finalist for Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in Florida. He is a graduate of Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.