Digital Colony, EQT to Buy Zayo for $8.2 Billion

The infrastructure company has rejected offers from private equity firms in the past.

Zayo Group Holdings, the U.S. communications infrastructure provider, agreed to be sold to investment firms Digital Colony Partners and EQT Partners for $35 per share.

The companies said the deal, $8.2 billion in cash and $5.9 billion in Zayo’s debt, represents a premium of 14.3% to Zayo’s closing price on Tuesday.

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Zayo had rejected previous acquisition offers, including one from a private equity consortium that included Blackstone Group, Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners, and KKR & Co. Zayo shares were up more than 8% in midday trading.

Zayo shares have fallen 11% in the last 12 months.

“Zayo has a world-class digital infrastructure portfolio, including a highly-dense fiber network in some of the world’s most important metro markets,” Marc Ganzi, managing partner at Digital Colony, said in a statement.

In November 2018, Zayo announced it would split into two public companies, one focused on communications infrastructure and one on enterprise services, but in February it announced the public spinoff was not in its best interest. In March, activist hedge fund Starboard Value, which took a 4% stake, said Zayo should consider a sale.

Zayo will become a private company after the deal closes.

Zayo was advised by Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan. Morgan Stanley and Deutsche Bank are acting as financial advisors to Digital Colony and EQT Infrastructure, which is making the acquisition through its EQT Infrastructure IV fund.

The deal is expected to close in the first half of 2020.