ExteNet Systems, a private owner and operator of converged communications infrastructure delivering advanced mobility and fiber connectivity, has closed its previously announced strategic investment by Manulife Investment Management. Manulife Investment Management’s commitment was sourced for the John Hancock Life Insurance Company (U.S.A.) balance sheet as well as third-party managed accounts. Manulife Investment Management joins existing major investors, Digital Colony and Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners, with this transaction. The investment provides the Manulife-led consortium approximately 30 percent ownership of ExteNet. ExteNet plans to use the capital infusion in ongoing 5G network densification as it continues to address advanced connectivity needs of its customers, including mobile network operators (MNOs), carriers, property owners and enterprises.
“Manulife Investment Management is an invaluable addition to ExteNet’s investor group as we continue to build and operate high-performance next-generation communications infrastructure nationwide,” said Marc Ganzi, executive chairman of ExteNet. “We look forward to working with the Manulife team to accelerate ExteNet’s next phase of growth and deliver tomorrow’s connectivity today.”
Brian McMullen, a partner at Stonepeak, said that in an increasingly connected society, ExteNet’s integrated portfolio of innovative, advanced connectivity solutions positions the company at the forefront of the ongoing 5G digital transformation. “Our partnership with Manulife Investment Management will allow us to extend our market leadership and capture the significant opportunities ahead,” he said.
Steve Blewitt, global head of private markets at Manulife Investment Management, said that with the robust 5G demand drivers for small cell and DAS networks, ExteNet is well-positioned to remain what he called the leading independent provider in that business. “Manulife is looking forward to working alongside ExteNet’s world-class team to deliver next generation communications infrastructure and services to create enhanced value for all our stakeholders,” he said.
Jim Hyde, president and CEO at ExteNet, said that the successful Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) and C-band spectrum auctions served as validation for the future of 5G wireless communications. He said that ExteNet’s technical leadership, customer-first and solution-focused approach sets it apart. Hyde indicated that he considers Manulife Investment Management to be a partner with ExteNet in building the next-generation communications infrastructure as the company continues to roll out its Fiber-First enterprise fiber services. He said that Fiber-First “ensures that the underlying infrastructure is robust, scalable and carrier-grade, to deliver advanced connectivity for businesses and communities across the United States.”
PJT Partners served as financial advisors to ExteNet and its investors. TAP Advisors served as financial advisors to Manulife Investment Management. Simpson, Thacher & Bartlett provided legal representation to ExteNet, and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison represented Manulife Investment Management. Financial terms of the transaction are not being disclosed.