The era of converged network infrastructure has officially begun
After a year of shopping itself, Boingo has finally found a buyer.
However, the important element here is not that Boingo finally managed to sell itself, but that Marc Ganzi found another telecom company to purchase.
Boingo announced Monday that Digital Colony – a $23 billion infrastructure investment company linked to Ganzi’s Colony Capital investment firm – will take Boingo private in a transaction valued at around $854 million. The figure represents a 23% premium to Boingo’s recent stock price. The companies expect the deal to close in the second quarter of 2021.
Boingo has long been a small but noteworthy player in the US telecom industry. Although the company initially made a name for itself selling Wi-Fi access to consumers in public venues – indeed, the company’s stock ticker symbol is “WIFI” – much of Boingo’s business has since shifted away from the retail market. The bulk of Boingo’s revenues today stem from building and operating Wi-Fi and cellular networks inside military bases, airports, apartment complexes and other large venues. (Boingo also announced another Wi-Fi offloading agreement with a “Tier 1” mobile network operator in conjunction with the release of its quarterly earnings Monday, but did not name the operator.)
Now, though, Boingo will sit inside the massive “digital infrastructure” business created by Ganzi.
Ganzi founded Global Tower Partners (GTP) in 2003 and grew the business into the largest privately owned cell tower company in the US before selling it to tower giant American Tower in 2013 for $4.8 billion.
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