Cincinnati Bell Inc. announced the completion of its acquisition by Macquarie Infrastructure Partners V (“MIP”), an Americas-focused unlisted infrastructure fund managed by Macquarie Asset Management (“MAM”). The $2.9 billion transaction will accelerate Cincinnati Bell’s fiber build across its operating footprint, and support strategic investments in the company’s IT Services businesses throughout North America.
“Cincinnati Bell provides the communities they serve with vital network connectivity, and we’re looking forward to supporting their expansion plans to bring fiber throughout their market.”
Leigh Fox, President and Chief Executive Officer of Cincinnati Bell, said the transaction close marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter in the company’s nearly 150-year history. During his time as CEO, Mr. Fox has transformed Cincinnati Bell into a national and international technology company through the acquisitions of OnX Enterprise Solutions and Hawaiian Telcom. Today, the company operates through two distinct business units – Entertainment & Communications and IT Solutions – to reflect its core competencies of building fiber-based networks that support giga-bit Internet speeds, and delivering cloud-based IT solutions to large business customers. These business units operate through several local and international brands, including Cincinnati Bell, Hawaiian Telcom, CBTS, and ONX Canada.
“Our partnership with MIP is tremendous news for Cincinnati Bell’s 4,700 employees, our customers, and the communities we serve,” Fox said. “MIP has deep telecommunications expertise and a strong track record of investing in capital intensive businesses, which will be critical as we deliver on our strategy to drive next generation, integrated communications through an expanded fiber network as well as our IT services platform."
Anton Moldan, Senior Managing Director with MAM, said that Cincinnati Bell’s expansion plans will play an essential role in building digital equity within their service territories.
"We are incredibly excited to partner with the experienced management team at Cincinnati Bell to continue to build out a high bandwidth fiber to the premise network for consumers, enterprises, and carriers, as well as to support the growth of their market leading IT services platform,” Moldan said. “Cincinnati Bell provides the communities they serve with vital network connectivity, and we’re looking forward to supporting their expansion plans to bring fiber throughout their market.”
Entertainment and Communications
Cincinnati Bell and Hawaiian Telcom are committed to creating digital equity through ongoing investments in fiber, a future-proof technology that enables gigabit Internet. Today, Cincinnati Bell and Hawaiian Telcom cover 60 percent of Greater Cincinnati, and 40 percent of Hawaiʻi, with Fiber-to-the-Premise technology, making those regions among the most fiber-dense metropolitan areas in the United States.
Cincinnati Bell’s partnership with MIP will allow the company to expand the fiber network at an accelerated pace over the next three years and make high-speed Internet available throughout its operating territories. Cincinnati Bell will also continue its commitment to continuous innovation. The company in 2014 became the first Internet Service Provider in Greater Cincinnati to offer 1 gigabit Internet, and earlier this year became the first Internet Service Provider to introduce 2 gigabit speeds in the market.
IT Services and Hardware
Over the past four years, Cincinnati Bell’s IT Services businesses – CBTS – has grown from a regional IT provider into an international organization that supports customers across the globe, with offices located throughout the United States, Canada, India, and Europe. CBTS serves clients in all industries and has partnerships with Fortune 500 clients, large healthcare organizations, multiple universities, and state and local governmental agencies.
The transaction with MIP will provide CBTS with increased flexibility to make strategic investments in its Communications, Cloud, Consulting Services, Security, and Infrastructure practices. The transaction will also support CBTS’ ongoing investments to attract and develop talented IT professionals who are critical in order for the company to continue supporting its existing enterprise customers, and to attract new customers through continuous technology innovation.
Continued Commitment to the Community
Cincinnati Bell has been part of the communities it serves in Greater Cincinnati and Hawaiʻi for nearly 150 years. The company and its employees routinely donate more than $2 million every year toward economic development, health, and education initiatives. To date, Cincinnati Bell and Hawaiian Telcom have connected more than 7,000 students who previously lacked Internet to support remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. The company’s Employee Volunteer Program allows employees to volunteer up to 40 hours every year during work hours in their communities. And Cincinnati Bell’s Smart City organization – UniCity – is partnering with local governments and government entities to provide high-speed Internet access to communities, as well as applications that help customers leverage that connectivity to better serve constituents.
Fox said the transaction with MIP will further strengthen Cincinnati Bell’s community engagement efforts.
“MIP deeply appreciates Cincinnati Bell’s commitment to supporting the community that supports us. You can expect continued leadership from Cincinnati Bell with respect to regional initiatives including digital equity, economic development, and improved access to education and healthcare,” Fox said. “Our company is excited to begin this new chapter as we create true digital equity through our investment in fiber, and partner with our business customers through investments in cutting-edge technologies.”