Digital Colony, EQT to take Zayo private for $8.2 billion in cash
Zayo Group Holdings Inc said on Wednesday it has agreed to be taken private by investment firms Digital Colony Partners LP and EQT for about $8.2 billion in cash.
The deal value of $35 per share is at a premium of 14.3 percent to Zayo’s closing price on Tuesday.
Shares of Zayo were up 8 percent at $33.13.
The deal is valued at more than $14 billion, including Zayo’s $5.9 billion debt.
Reuters exclusively reported last month about the potential deal.
Zayo operates a 209,214 km fiber network in the United States and Europe to connect data centers and serves wireless and landline phone companies. It stands to benefit from rising demand for bandwidth in their markets, driven by cloud computing and streaming.
The company, which went public in 2014, has been under pressure from activist hedge funds like Starboard Value LP, which in March urged Zayo to consider a sale after taking a 4 percent stake in the company.
Boulder, Colorado-based Zayo said in November it would break itself up into two companies. However, in February, the company said it was not in its best interest to pursue a public spinoff as part of its strategic review.
The company had earlier rejected acquisition offers, including from a private equity consortium comprising Blackstone Group LP, Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners LP, KKR & Co Inc, I Squared Capital, Charlesbank Capital Partners and GTCR Ltd.
“I am confident this partnership with EQT and Digital Colony will empower Zayo to accelerate its growth and strengthen its industry leadership,” Zayo’s Chief Executive Officer Dan Caruso said in a statement.
The deal, which is subject to regulatory clearance and an approval from Zayo shareholders, is expected to close in the first half of 2020.
Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan are serving as financial advisers to Zayo Group and Skadden Arps is serving as legal counsel. Morgan Stanley and Deutsche Bank are acting as financial advisers to Digital Colony and EQT Infrastructure, and Simpson Thacher is serving as legal adviser.
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