North America: Antin Infrastructure in deal to buy FirstLight Fiber 

21 February 2018 - 12:00 am UTC

Antin Infrastructure Partners will tap the first and second lien market to fund its acquisition of FirstLight Fiber from private equity firm Oak Hill Capital Partners, according to a 21 February press release.

The transaction will be underwritten by UBS, TD Securities and Jefferies Finance.

The transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2018, according to a statement from Antin.

A spokesperson for Antin told Inframation that it is “too early to tell if FirstLight will be solely owned by Antin or whether Antin will seek minority investors.” The representative declined to provide details on the value of the transaction or the financing structure to be utilized.

Originally started in New York, FirstLight provides fiber connectivity services Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania. The company expanded its fiber routes to extend beyond 14,000 miles during Oak Hill’s investment period.

The agreement marks Antin’s second investment in the fiber sub-sector and fourth overall in the wider telecom sector. The firm acquired Eurofiber, an 18,000km fibre-optic network in the Netherlands from Reggeborgh Group and Doughty Hanson in May 2015 for EUR 875m (USD 982m). Antin later led a EUR 499m (USD 587m) refinancing in connection with Eurofiber in December 2017, as reported.

Antin closed its third infrastructure fund, Antin Infrastructure Partners III, ahead of its EUR 3bn target at EUR 3.6bn, in December 2016. The 10-year fund targets eight to ten equity investments between EUR 100m and EUR 400m but can target larger-ticket transactions by offering co-investment to LP investors, according to data collected by Inframation Deals. The fund has a 12% target net IRR.

Antin was advised by UBS Investment Bank (financial) and Weil, Gotshal & Manges (legal). FirstLight and the sellers were advised by Bank Street Group and TD Securities (financial.) The sellers received legal advice from Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison (legal).#

 Antin Infrastructure