Bluebird Network, LLC, (“Bluebird” or the “Company”) a Midwest telecommunications company, is being acquired by Macquarie Infrastructure Partners (“MIP”) for an undisclosed amount. MIP is a long-term infrastructure investment fund that is managed by the Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (“MIRA”) division of Macquarie Group.
MIP has partnered with Uniti Group Inc. (NASDAQ: UNIT) (“Uniti”) to finance the transaction. Uniti will acquire Bluebird’s fiber network and then lease it back to Bluebird under a long-term lease. As part of the transaction, Bluebird will also acquire Uniti’s Midwestern fiber business and receive a long-term lease over Uniti’s Midwestern fiber network, which consists of approximately 2,500 miles of network predominantly in Illinois. Upon completion of the transactions the two adjacent networks will be combined and operated as one company under the Bluebird name. The Company will be operated by the existing Bluebird management team and employee-base headquartered in Columbia, MO, led by chief executive officer, Michael Morey.
“We are very pleased to partner with Bluebird’s experienced management team as MIP expands its portfolio of investments in communications infrastructure,” said Karl Kuchel, CEO of MIP. “As bandwidth needs continue to increase, fiber has become the essential backbone for high-performance connectivity networks. We look forward to working with the Bluebird team to growing the platform in the years ahead”
“This is an exciting opportunity for Bluebird. The investment by MIP and the addition of the adjacent network uniquely positions Bluebird as a scaled strategic network and data center provider in the Midwest,” adds Michael Morey, CEO of Bluebird. “With our existing team in place and an expanded network and customer set, Bluebird will be well placed to serve wholesale and enterprise customers, and for platform growth throughout the Midwest and beyond.”
Bluebird provides high bandwidth network solutions within rural and urban areas throughout the Midwest, focusing on connecting rural areas to major cities. The company provides a wide variety of network services to enterprise and carrier customers, including secure and reliable bandwidth, Metro Ethernet, Wide Area Network Ethernet, Dedicated Internet Access, E-Line Services, Ethernet Virtual Private LAN Service (E-LAN) and Mobile Backhaul Transport services. Bluebird’s fiber optic infrastructure also connects to the Bluebird Underground Data Center, an underground colocation facility located in Springfield, Missouri.
The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary terms and conditions, and is expected to be closed by the end of the third quarter of 2019.
MVP Capital Advisors served as exclusive financial advisor to Bluebird on the transaction.