July 26, 2022 – BAI communication (BAI), a global provider of shared communications infrastructure, has agreed to the acquisition ZenFi networks, an East Coast-based digital infrastructure solutions provider and innovator in small cell deployment, offload and roaming services, fiber connectivity and network edge colocation. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.
This agreement represents a significant growth opportunity for BAI in North America and builds on its existing connected infrastructure capacity and operations in the region, which are being advanced by BAI group companies mobility and TransitWireless. It further advances the company’s vision to become a provider of connected 5G infrastructure across North America and globally. The transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals and is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year.
The agreement expands the range of technologies and services that BAI can offer to network operators, enterprises and public authorities with more specialized scalable solutions. With significant fiber connectivity resources, wireless infrastructure solutions including small cells, and network colocation facilities in the New York and New Jersey metro areas, ZenFi Networks’ infrastructure is a natural extension of the connectivity solutions Transit Wireless offers on the New York City subway. The combination of the two offerings, along with Mobilitie’s outdoor and indoor 5G wireless infrastructure solutions, complements and strengthens BAI’s ability to execute on its broader 5G growth strategy and become a large-scale operator in New York and New Jersey and North America .
With a well-established and proven leadership team led by co-founder and CEO Ray LaChance, ZenFi Networks brings a variety of long-standing client relationships, including rights to deploy mobile infrastructure solutions across 4,000 LinkNYC kiosk structures across the city. The acquisition will also bring over 1,100 route miles of fiber optic networks in the New York and New Jersey metropolitan area, as well as C-RAN solutions and a number of existing customer contracts with enterprise and mobile network operators.
Igor Leprince, Group CEO of BAI Communications, says, “ZenFi Networks is a long-established and powerful player in the wireless infrastructure space. As an exciting company with long-standing customer relationships and a reputation for driving innovation, joining the BAI Group is an important step in our continued drive for growth in North America and globally. In the short-term, it strengthens our regional operations in the Northeast, expands the reach of our current solutions and expertise, and builds on our vision to help our customers provide an enhanced experience at every point in their customer journey underground to and from work home. This also positions us perfectly to support the increasing appetite for connectivity among businesses across North America.”
Commenting on the agreement, Ray LaChance, Co-Founder and CEO of ZenFi Networks said, “We are extremely excited about this acquisition and joining the BAI Group. The natural alignment between our business and BAI’s North American operations opens a number of opportunities to expand the services and support we provide to our customers and to position the company to match its size and leadership in the delivery of connected infrastructure elevated. Our team is excited to join BAI Group and we strongly believe this investment will strengthen our ability to deliver innovative infrastructure solutions for our customers in a sustainable and equitable way for our communities. BAI’s heritage, proven track record of delivering and prioritizing customer service, and experience in community partnerships and community engagement ensure a natural cultural fit in our business and customer relationships. Combining ZenFi Networks’ established reputation and relationships in and around New York City and our expertise in fast-growing segments like small cell deployment with the scale and reach that BAI has in North America and globally creates the perfect platform to to take advantage of the increasing 5G and growth opportunities for connected infrastructure.”
Leprince emphasizes the combined potential of the two companies and the opportunity ahead, adding, “The alignment that exists between the activities and prospects of ZenFi Networks and BAI in the New York area represents an opportunity greater than the sum their parts . With an enhanced IoT capability perfectly aligned with our own operational footprint, this acquisition is an obvious next step in expanding our reach in the region and is an exciting development for us in the North American market as we seek to serve enterprises, municipalities and mobile network operators a broader Range of services and well-founded know-how.”
Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPP Investments), BAI’s majority shareholder, congratulated and supported this agreement. Max Biagosch, Senior Managing Director at CPP Investments and BAI Board Member, says: “This acquisition represents a major strategic opportunity for BAI Group and further expands our commitment to the digital infrastructure space. CPP Investments recognizes the critical importance of quality connectivity in an increasingly digital world and is focused on providing the underlying infrastructure to make this happen through BAI. The combination of rapidly growing social appetites and demand for connectivity, and the leadership position that BAI has built, creates a strong foundation for CPP Investments to continue to generate long-term and sustainable returns for our members by supporting the growth of the BAI platform. “
Ben Hawkins, Head of Infrastructure, Renewable Energy & Sustainable Investing, at Alberta Investment Management Corp (AIMCo), a minority shareholder of BAI Communications, comments, “As a long-term oriented investor, we strongly support opportunities that strengthen the market position of investments in our clients’ portfolios, as is the case with BAI and its successful acquisition of ZenFi Networks, resulting in the Group’s presence in the United States is further expanded. We are very excited about the opportunities arising from BAI’s integrated US platform following this transaction.”