What is being sold?
Bluebird Network, LLC (“Bluebird”) announces it has reached an intent to be acquired by Macquarie Infrastructure Partners (“MIP”) with Uniti Group Inc. to finance the transaction through a sale/leaseback agreement.
MIP will acquire the Bluebird operations. Uniti will acquire Bluebird’s fiber network and then lease it back to Bluebird under a long-term lease. As part of the transaction, Bluebird will also acquire Uniti’s Midwestern fiber business and receive a long-term lease over Uniti’s Midwestern fiber network, which consists of approximately 2,500 miles of network predominantly in Illinois. Upon completion of the transactions the two adjacent networks will be combined and operated as one company under the Bluebird name.
Who is Macquarie?
Macquarie Group Limited is an Australian multinational independent investment bank and financial services company. MIP is a long-term infrastructure investment fund that is managed by the Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (“MIRA”) division of Macquarie Group. The Bluebird acquisition will be the first fiber network investment by Macquarie Group in the United States.
Who is Uniti?
Uniti, an internally managed real estate investment trust, is engaged in the acquisition and construction of mission critical communication infrastructure, and is a leading provider of wireless infrastructure solutions for the communications industry. As of September 30, 2018, Uniti owns 5.4 million fiber strand miles, approximately 850 wireless towers, and other communications real estate throughout the United States and Latin America.
What is the relationship between Uniti and Macquarie Infrastructure Partners?
MIP will acquire the Bluebird operations while Uniti will acquire Bluebird’s fiber network and then lease it back to Bluebird under a long-term lease.
How will this acquisition affect Bluebird Media, Missouri Network Alliance, Illinois Network Alliance and the Bluebird Underground Data Center?
MIP is acquiring Missouri Network Alliance and Bluebird Network LLC, which includes the Bluebird Underground Data Center. MIP will not be acquiring Illinois Network Alliance. However, Bluebird will still retain their managerial relationship with Illinois Network Alliance.
When will the acquisition be finalized?
Today we are announcing the intent to be acquired, and how that acquisition would be structured. The purchase is expected to be finalized by end of third quarter 2019, or sooner, and is subject to regulatory approval, and other customary terms and conditions.
Bluebird will publish another Press Release upon the acquisition completion.
How much was Bluebird Network acquired for?
The amount paid will not be publicly disclosed.
What will be the Bluebird HQ location?
The Bluebird HQ will remain in Columbia, Missouri. All four current Bluebird offices will remain (Columbia, Lee’s Summit, St. Louis, and Springfield, Missouri).
Will Bluebird Network be retaining its name, logo, etc.?
Bluebird Network and the Bluebird Underground Data Center will retain their name, logo, and other brand identifiers.
Will Bluebird keep its existing employees?
Bluebird will retain its current employees, including the executive team.
What were the driving factors for this acquisition?
Bluebird is focused on strategic network expansion. This acquisition was completed to allow for Bluebird to accelerate its infrastructure growth and to position Bluebird for future growth in the Midwest and beyond. MIP and Uniti have shown their faith in the Bluebird employee team and are supportive of the Bluebird platform expansion plan.
Will Bluebird gain any new employees with the new 2,500 fiber route miles?
Bluebird will be adding the resources required to support the new fiber being transferred in the transaction.
Will Bluebird Network be providing the same services/same areas for fiber?
Bluebird Network and the Bluebird Underground Data Center will be offering its same quality service portfolio, with an expanded fiber footprint of 2,500 fiber route miles through part of Uniti’s fiber network located in Illinois.
Will Bluebird start expanding its fiber reach?
Bluebird will immediately begin a strategic expansion of its fiber network, significantly increasing its capital expenditure and fiber footprint.
When will the acquisition be finalized?
The purchase is expected to be finalized by end of third quarter 2019, or sooner, and is subject to regulatory approval, and other customary terms and conditions.
What number will I call for contacting Bluebird?
All Bluebird contact information will remain the same, including contact information for sales, trouble reporting (NOC), to request a quote, accounts payable, the Bluebird Network website, the Bluebird Underground Data Center, etc.
Who should I contact if I have additional questions?
External questions and media communication should be directed to Sue Schaefer at Sue.Schaefer@Bluebirdnetwork.com