BAI Acquires ZenFi Networks to Bolster Digital Infrastructure Growth

BAI Communications (BAI), a global shared communications infrastructure provider based outside Sydney, Australia, has agreed to acquire ZenFi Networks (ZenFi), a U.S. East coast-based provider of digital infrastructure solutions and an innovator in small cell deployment, offload and roaming services, fiber connectivity and network edge colocation.

This agreement represents a significant growth opportunity for BAI in North America, building upon its existing connected infrastructure capability and operations of BAI Group’s two U.S.-based companies, Mobilitie and Transit Wireless. The company suggests the deal further advances BAI’s vision to become a leading provider of connected 5G infrastructure across North America and globally. 

Once the deal closes, the ZenFi team will join Transit Wireless and Mobilitie representing BAI’s U.S. operations. The transaction is subject to customary regulatory clearances and is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year. Transaction terms were not disclosed.  

The deal expands BAI’s ability to provide network operators, enterprises, and public municipalities with more specialized, scalable communications solutions.

ZenFii has significant fiber connectivity assets, wireless infrastructure solutions including small cells, and network colocation facilities throughout the New York and New Jersey metro areas. The company’s infrastructure is a natural extension of the connectivity solutions that Transit Wireless provides across the New York City subway.

The combination of the two offerings, along with Mobilitie’s 5G outdoor and indoor wireless infrastructure solutions, complements and strengthens BAI’s capability to deliver against its wider 5G growth strategy and become a scale provider across New York and New Jersey, and throughout North America. 

The acquisition will expand the technical and service offerings for ZenFi’s existing customers including the rights to provide mobile infrastructure solutions to 4,000 LinkNYC kiosk structures across New York City, as Inside Towers reported. 

The deal will also bring over 1,100 fiber route-miles across the New York and New Jersey metro region as well as unique centralized RAN solutions and a number of existing customer contracts with enterprise and mobile network operators.

“ZenFi Networks is a long established and high performing player in the wireless infrastructure sector. As an exciting business with longstanding customer relationships and a reputation for driving innovation, bringing it into the BAI Group is an important step forward in our ongoing push for growth in North America and globally,” says Igor Leprince, Group CEO of BAI Communications.

“In the short-term, it enhances our regional operations in the Northeast, further extending the reach of current solutions and expertise we have and building on our vision to assist our customers in delivering an enhanced experience at all points of their customers’ journey, from subway to above ground and from work to home. This also positions us perfectly to support the increasing appetite for connectivity among businesses across North America.”

ZenFi Networks co-founder and CEO, Ray LaChance comments, “ZenFi Networks will be able to provide our customers with more specialized solutions, across a broader geography and portfolio of products. By uniting under the BAI umbrella, we will be able to deepen our commitment to the New York metro with end-to-end connectivity solutions from the New York City subway through outdoor LinkNYC kiosks. We believe this acquisition will help us expand neutral infrastructure solutions in support of closing the digital divide, while providing our customers network solutions indoor, outdoor, and underground.”

Leprince emphasized the combined potential of the two businesses and the opportunity that lay ahead, adding, “The alignment that exists between the operations and outlook of ZenFi Networks and BAI in the broader New York area presents an opportunity that is greater than the sum of its parts. With an operational footprint that is perfectly aligned to our own, and enhanced IoT capabilities, this acquisition is an obvious next step for extending our reach in the region and is an exciting development for us in the North American market as we look to bring enterprises, municipalities, and mobile network operators a broader range of services and depth of expertise.”

BAI’s majority shareholder, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board along with Alberta Investment Management Corporation, a minority shareholder in BAI Communications, both voiced support for the deal.

By John Celentano, Inside Towers Business Editor

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