Under the direction of a new CEO, two well-established wireless services companies will expand their deployment services in the Western U.S. with an infusion of cash from two equity investors.
Ridgemont Equity Partners and SR Capital Advisors announced Friday that their newly formed company, J5 Infrastructure Partners, includes the talent and assets of Cortel, Inc. of San Diego, Calif., and TowerCom Technologies LLC of Albuquerque, N.M.
Joining J5 as its CEO to manage and expand the combined companies’ nine offices is industry turnaround and growth veteran Jerry Elliot.
Elliot was formerly Leap Wireless’ President and Chief Operating Officer, and after a short two years successfully turned the flagging business with an eroding customer base into a success story that saw its stock rise from $5.00 to over $17.00. Leap was sold to AT&T in March of 2014.
He also served as tower owner Global Signal’s President and CEO when the company saw revenue and EBITDA margins grow, capturing the attention of Crown Castle, who bought the company in 2007 for $5.7 billion.
Beginning his career with Arthur Andersen, Elliot later served in numerous executive positions, from President of Frontier Communications to Chief Financial Officer of The Weather Company, owners of Weather.com.
After two-plus years at The Weather Company he grew revenue by 20% and free cash flow by 90%
Service-based model to expand
“Our team will build a larger business through both organic growth and additional acquisitions and, most importantly, will continue leading the industry in quality of service,” Elliot said in a statement.
TowerCom was established in 2000 by President Jason Dickman. Cortel’s 2004 co-founders were John Barker and Michael Miller. An additional principal of the firm is Michael Jackson.
J5 will be headquartered in Orange County, Calif.
Ridgemont, according to their current investments, have an interest in Cross Fiber, a company that designs, constructs and maintains its own fiber optic network structure. The company had previously invested in NextG Networks, acquired by Crown Castle in 2011 for $1 billion; LIghtower; and Titan Towers, whose tower assets were acquired by Global Tower, LLC in 2004 for an undisclosed price.
J5 is SR Capital’s only telecom holding, however, it has previously invested in Edge Wireless, Telemundo, Rural Cellular Corporation and tower owner Mountain Union Telecom which was sold to Crown Castle for approximately $309 million in 2006. David Weisman had founded Mountain Union. He currently is the CEO and co-founder of InSite Wireless Group, the nation’s sixth largest tower owner, according to Wireless Estimator’s Top 100 Tower Companies in the U.S.