WEST PALM BEACH, Fla., JULY 10, 2017 — Neutral Connect Networks (NCN), a leading independent owner and operator of wireless communications infrastructure, announced today the purchase of DAS Communications and 5 Bars. Additionally, M/C Partners has committed up to $30 million to fund NCN’s continued expansion.
DAS, founded in 2007 by Tyler Kratz, has successfully built and continues to operate multiple wireless networks at strategic venues in Boston and New York.
5 Bars, an Irvine, California-based neutral host distributed antenna system (DAS) operator, is a leader in deploying DAS systems in the sports and entertainment sectors, with deployments in numerous large stadiums and casinos. 5 Bars’ DAS team will play an integral role in the new company.
John Clarey, 5 Bars’ former CEO, who will continue as an investor in NCN, said, “The financial commitment from NCN and M/C Partners provides 5 Bars the needed resources to continue to build and operate the large projects it has in its pipeline.” The terms of the all-cash transaction remain confidential.
NCN is also pleased to announce that it has partnered with M/C Partners, a leading, Boston-based telecommunications private equity firm, as its lead investor. “We are excited to have the opportunity to combine these two leading players in the small cell arena to create Neutral Connect,” Brian M. Clark, M/C managing partner, said. “M/C Partners has a long and successful heritage in the wireless industry, and we believe that the small cell opportunity represents a massive shift in the network architecture of mobile carriers, which we are keen to participate in.” Clark also announced the hiring of seasoned telecommunications executive Paul McGinn as CEO of the newly formed NCN.
McGinn was most recently the director of business development at Vertical Bridge and previously the CEO of CIG Wireless. He has more than 20 years of experience in the wireless industry, working with companies such as TCP Communications and SBA Communications. “This transaction brings together two complementary neutral host operators, and the combined business will have a broad geographic presence across the United States,” McGinn said.
McGinn has hired Brian Porter, former vice president of in-building at Ericsson, as the senior vice president of sales and operations for the new company. Porter has 17 years of wireless-industry experience with such companies as STI Brasil, American Tower, Fiber Tower and Spectra Site.
NCN’s combined networks will provide wireless service at such varied locales as the NRG Stadium in Houston, the Staten Island Ferry in New York, Boston’s Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway, Angel Stadium in Anaheim, Calif., and soon, the Colorado State University Stadium in Fort Collins, Colo.
About Neutral Connect Networks
Neutral Connect Networks www.neutralconnect.com is a leading independent owner and operator of wireless communications infrastructure in the United States. Its primary focus is building and operating multi-carrier neutral host DAS and small cell networks in venues and buildings throughout North America.
About M/C Partners
M/C Partners is a private equity firm focused exclusively on the communications, media, and information technology sectors. The firm has invested over $2.2 billion of capital into nearly 100 companies in those sectors. Companies M/C has backed include Cavalier Telephone, Ensono, Everstream, Fusepoint, ICG Communications, Involta, Legendary Pictures, Lightower, MetroPCS, NuVox, and Zayo Group. The firm has strong institutional backing from the nation’s leading pension funds and endowments as well as a long track record of success. M/C Partners has offices in Boston and San Francisco. For more information, visit www.mcpartners.com.
About 5 Bars
XG Communities, LLC dba 5 Bars Communities is headquartered in Irvine California. The firm is a premier provider of wireless solutions and asset marketing for cities, municipalities and large scale public venues throughout North America. 5 Bars delivers carrier friendly wireless coverage solutions including asset marketing, A&E services, DAS, ODAS, small cell, and turnkey wireless solutions.
The 5 Bars Communities division, that provides small cell wireless planning and marketing for cities, is not part of the acquisition and will continue to operate under XG Communities, LLC.
For more information, visit www.5Bars.com.