May 4, 2017 —
Parallel Infrastructure, a nationwide developer, owner and operator of cell towers, has been acquired by Lendlease, a global development, property, infrastructure and construction management firm with 12,000 employees.
The investment could signal the rise of a new powerhouse in wireless infrastructure development or at least keep Parallel from being rolled up into one of the larger tower companies. Lendlease brings a wealth of experience in fiber optics to Parallel. It provides telecom network services to public and private asset owners across Australia, including overhead and underground fiber cable networks. For example, Australian wireless firm Optus hired Lendlease to install fiber optics to its business customers and GSM mobile base stations.
“Lendlease has been active in telecommunications globally for the past 20 years,” said Denis Hickey, CEO, Lendlease Americas, in a prepared statement. “By adding Parallel Infrastructure to Lendlease’s telecommunications pipeline, we are now positioned to further expand into this key market in the United States.”
Parallel owns and operates 450 towers nationwide, many of which follow 65,000 miles of railroad right-of-way that it manages for cell tower development. Parallel constructs, owns and operate towers through a build-to-suit program for major carriers and regional wireless providers, while also building its inventory through acquisitions and providing collocation services. Parallel’s commercial real estate comes from asset management agreements with more than 30 short-line and regional railroads, which have ROW snaking across the more than 20 states.
“The marriage here is between a tower operator in the United States that has a good track record of execution, policies and procedures and relationships and a company like Lendlease that has a tremendous global depth, access to capital and additional resources. To us the sky is the limit,” said Yannis Macheras, former Parallel president who now leads Lendlease Tower Development as senior vice president.
Before the acquisition, Parallel was a subsidiary of Florida East Coast Industries (FECI), the commercial real estate, transportation and infrastructure sister company to Florida East Coast (FEC) Railway.
Macheras said the intent of the sale to LendLease was to find a partner that would keep intact Parallel’s program, its team members, its carrier relationships and its philosophy for those carrier relationships.
“This action was intended to find a committed buyer that wanted to further the progress that we made today and invest in us in the long term and keep the program in tact. LendLease honored those objectives. It wasa perfect match,” said Macheras said. “Parallel’s portfolio combined with Lendlease’s access to resources and capital will accelerate our growth in the telecom infrastructure sector.”