In their first foray into telecom, $310 billion institutional investor Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), one of Canada’s biggest retirement fund managers, has announced it has reached an agreement to acquire a thirty percent stake in the main operating subsidiary of Vertical Bridge Holdings, LLC, the largest private owner and operator of communications infrastructure in the United States.
Vertical Bridge will use the undisclosed investment from CDPQ to continue to expand its portfolio of broadband and broadcast towers, small cells, real estate and other wireless infrastructure assets ahead of 5G deployment. Since its inception in 2014, Vertical Bridge has completed more than 250 acquisitions and grown its portfolio to over 266,000 sites, including more than 16,000 owned and master-leased towers, as well as the nation’s largest and tallest private portfolio of broadcast towers.
“With this acquisition, we expand our exposure to telecommunications infrastructure by partnering with a first‑class operator that is strategically positioned in the market and brings a wealth of knowledge of the industry,” said Emmanuel Jaclot, Executive Vice‑President, Infrastructure at CDPQ. “We are delighted to work alongside the Vertical Bridge team, and support the company’s next stages of development and long-term growth in an attractive wireless infrastructure sector.”
“Two key goals since the day we were founded have been to be a leader in wireless communications infrastructure and to have longevity as a private company. The commitment from CDPQ – as well our current investors’ ongoing support – will allow us to continue to meet these objectives,” said Alex Gellman, CEO and Co-Founder of Vertical Bridge. “We are thrilled to add CDPQ to our investor group, and look forward to working with them as we offer an even broader range of innovative infrastructure solutions to customers in the dynamic U.S. wireless and broadcast markets.”
CDPQ joins a diverse group of long-term investors who have supported Vertical Bridge since its founding. The group includes Digital Bridge, The Jordan Company, Goldman Sachs Infrastructure Partners, Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners, The Edgewater Funds, CalSTRS and Dock Square Capital LLC. The Vertical Bridge executive team also holds a significant stake in the business.
“We are pleased to welcome CDPQ to the company’s group of investors,” said Marc Ganzi, Executive Chairman of Vertical Bridge and Co-Founder and CEO of Digital Bridge. “As the world prepares for the next generation of mobile technology, and coverage and capacity demands rise, their support and guidance will be a vital asset to the Board and to the management team as we collaborate to achieve our goals and support carriers by providing best-in-class digital infrastructure solutions.”
The transaction is subject to various regulatory approvals. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.