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Broadband M&A: PE Firm GI Partners Acquires Rise Broadband

Fiber optics abstract background – Data Internet Technology Cable

Private equity firm GI Partners has acquired broadband services provider Rise Broadband for an unspecified amount.

This is technology M&A deal number 30 that ChannelE2E has covered so far in 2023. See more than 2,000 technology M&A deals involving MSPs, MSSPs & IT service providers listed here.

GI Partners, founded in 2001, is based in the United States with offices in San Francisco, New York, Dallas, Chicago, Greenwich, Scottsdale, and London. The firm has 194 employees listed on LinkedIn. GI Partners has assets under management totaling $33 billion and invests on behalf of leading institutional investors worldwide through its private equity, real estate, and data infrastructure strategies.

Rise Broadband, founded in 2005, is based in Englewood, Colorado. The company has 350 employees listed on LinkedIn. Rise’s areas of expertise include internet speeds between 3 Mbps and 1 Gbps, PC care service plans, premium technical support service plan, business high-speed internet, and digital phone (ActivePhone™) for business.

Rise Broadband Acquired: The Details

Rise says it will use the new capital to improve customer experience and accelerate its rollout of fiber-to-the-home services for rural American homes and businesses.

Rise is the largest independent fixed wireless internet service provider in the U.S., serving primarily rural communities. CEO Jim O'Brien and the current executive team will continue leading Rise Broadband, the company said.

Barclays acted as financial advisor to Rise Broadband and Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner acted as legal counsel. Stifel acted as financial advisor to GI Partners and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett acted as legal counsel.

GI Partners Acquires Rise Broadband: Executive Insight

Jim O’Brien, CEO, Rise Broadband
Jim O'Brien, CEO, Rise Broadband

Jim O'Brien, CEO, Rise Broadband, commented:

"Rise Broadband is committed to connecting communities across our vast network footprint by providing best-in-class service to our customers and to delivering advanced high-speed broadband. We are eager to partner with the GI Partners team as we embark on a new phase of growth, driven by significant investment in our hybrid fiber-to-the-home and fixed wireless network."

Brendan Scollans, managing director and co-head of GI Data Infrastructure, said:

"Rise Broadband provides essential broadband connectivity with a focus on customers in rural America. We are excited to partner with Jim O'Brien and the Rise team to execute a multi-year, fiber-based network expansion effort. Rise's existing network infrastructure is uniquely positioned to execute a fiber expansion effort that will provide rural communities with next generation broadband service."

Broadband M&A

Broadband providers have proven to be interesting acquisition targets in recent years. In 2022 alone, at least half a dozen providers were bought up by competitors or private equity. Among the deals: