Digital Colony Partners has contacted Crown Castle International Corp to signal interest in buying a minority stake in its fiber-cable business, according to three people familiar with the matter, according to a report by Reuters today.
The exclusive article states that Marc Ganzi, CEO of Digital Colony , a major investor in data centers, cell towers, fiber networks and small cell networks, has spoken with Crown Castle CEO Jay Brown , according to Reuter’s sources, who requested anonymity.
Rivals don’t make strange bedfellows
As a prominent figure in the tightly knit fiber industry who has been involved in many industry transactions, Ganzi knows the Crown Castle assets well and could be potentially helpful in running them better, the sources said.
Ganzi and Brown have been active in the Wireless Infrastructure Association for many years. Brown is currently the association’s secretary and Alex Gelman, CEO of Vertical Bridge Holdings. Gellman and Ganzi are co-founders of towerco Vertical Bridge.
Digital Colony has suggested that Crown Castle would keep its investment in fiber but bring in a partner in a joint-venture type of structure, Reuter’s resources said.
Ganzi, a mover and shaker in wireless infrastructure, recently took over the reins of Colony Capital, a company founded in 1992 that has over $46 billion in assets under management. The firm is shaving its real estate holdings and moving into data centers and fiber investments.
Last month, Elliot Management Corp, a major activist investor in Crown Castle, registered their concerns about the company’s return on investment in fiber.
Last week, Elliot doubled down and castigated Crown Castle for knowing where there is a problem, but “refuses to acknowledge it.
Elliott might also play a role in a potential deal, Reuter’s sources said. They cautioned that no concrete proposal has been made and that a deal may not materialize.