Investment to Accelerate Expansion of Beanfield’s Fiber Network, Enabling Affordable High-Speed Broadband across Canada
(18 July 2023) – OMERS Infrastructure has announced that OMERS has agreed to provide a significant capital commitment to Beanfield Technologies Inc. (‘Beanfield’). Beanfield is the owner and operator of a 100% fiber infrastructure network servicing the enterprise, commercial, and residential sectors, primarily in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal. The strategic investment aims to support Beanfield’s mission of providing cost-effective, high-speed broadband connectivity to a wider range of homes and businesses in Canada, with a primary focus on Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal.
DigitalBridge, an initial investor in Beanfield in 2019, will continue to hold the majority stake in the company and this investment marks an inaugural partnership between OMERS and DigitalBridge. Peter Gray and Jenine Krause, both Managing Directors at OMERS Infrastructure, will be joining Beanfield’s Board of Directors. The investment from OMERS will be utilized to expand Beanfield’s existing 4,000-kilometer fiber network, which currently serves approximately 4,000 commercial buildings and over 170,000 residential units in Ontario, Quebec, and British Columbia.
Gisele Everett, Senior Managing Director and Head of Americas, OMERS Infrastructure, said: “We are pleased to support Beanfield’s relentless focus on delivering high-quality, cost-effective broadband connectivity to more Canadians and proud to partner with Beanfield’s management team and DigitalBridge, a leading sector-focused investor. Investing in the critical digital infrastructure sector in our home market has been a priority for us and we are delighted to enter into this partnership.”
Steven Sonnenstein, Senior Managing Director, DigitalBridge, said: “DigitalBridge is thrilled to embark on this new partnership with OMERS which will continue to foster further growth and expansion at Beanfield. This collaboration underscored our dedication to investing in infrastructure projects that will shape the future of connectivity in Canada.”
Dan Armstrong, CEO, Beanfield Metroconnect, added: “We welcome OMERS to Beanfield, their investment is a validation of our strategy. Together, we are fully committed to expanding access to high-speed broadband connectivity and capitalize on the significant opportunity."
Peter Gray, Managing Director, OMERS Infrastructure, added: “We are very pleased to have Beanfield represent OMERS first investment into the digital infrastructure sector in North America and look forward to working closely with management and DigitalBridge to leverage our collective global experience to expand the company’s product offering and reach to more Canadians, creating value for all stakeholders.”
TD Securities is serving as financial advisor and McCarthy Tétrault is serving as legal counsel to OMERS Infrastructure. Lazard served as financial advisor and Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP acted as counsel to DigitalBridge, Beanfield and their affiliates in connection with the proposed transaction. The transaction is expected to close in the third-quarter of 2023, subject to customary regulatory approvals. Terms of the deal are not being disclosed.
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About OMERS Infrastructure
OMERS Infrastructure manages infrastructure investments globally on behalf of OMERS, the defined benefit pension plan for municipal employees in the Province of Ontario, Canada, and third-party investors through its Strategic Partnership Program. OMERS Infrastructure manages approximately C$34 billion, including capital invested on behalf of OMERS and third parties, in over 30 investments located in North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific and across sectors including energy, digital services, transportation and government-regulated services. OMERS Infrastructure has three other digital infrastructure investments around the world: Deutsche Glasfaser in Germany, XpFibre in France and Waveconn in Australia. OMERS Infrastructure has employees in Toronto, New York, the U.K., Continental Europe, Asia and Australia.
DigitalBridge (NYSE: DBRG) is a leading global alternative asset manager dedicated to investing in digital infrastructure. With a heritage of over 25 years investing in and operating businesses across the digital ecosystem including cell towers, data centers, fiber, small cells and edge infrastructure, the DigitalBridge team manages a $69 billion portfolio of digital infrastructure assets on behalf of its limited partners and shareholders. Headquartered in Boca Raton, DigitalBridge has key offices in New York, Los Angeles, London, Luxembourg and Singapore. For more information, visit: www.digitalbridge.com.
About Beanfield Metroconnect
Beanfield is an independent, facilities-based telecommunications company with headquarters in Toronto, Montreal, and now Vancouver. Founded in 1988 with an activist spirit, our primary mission was to connect businesses in the underserved Toronto neighbourhood of Liberty Village. We have since expanded our fibre-optic network to serve markets in Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver, with points of presence in Calgary, New York, and Seattle. Although we are well-poised to become a national telecommunications entity in our own right, we are committed to remaining faithful to our roots and our ethos: we’re community-oriented and equity-focused; we believe everyone deserves quality connectivity at a fair price because that’s How It Should Be.