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New York private equity firm to acquire King of Prussia’s QualTek

June 14, 2018

Source, Philadelphia Business Journal, Michelle Caffrey

King of Prussia-based QualTek will be sold to a New York private equity firm, the telecommunications service provider announced Wednesday.

QualTek, which employs about 3,000 people nationwide, said it signed an agreement with Brightstar Capital Partners but did not disclose details or terms of the deal, which is expected to close in July.

The investment is the New York firm’s third since launching its first fund in 2015. It closed the fund earlier this year at $710 million.

A spokesperson declined to make a QualTek executive available to discuss the deal, saying the company was not commenting beyond the initial announcement.

In a statement, QualTek CEO Scott Hisey said the company is “very excited” about the partnership and that the growth capital from BrightStar will allow it to continue “leveraging our industry-leading execution track record and rigorous safety standards to serve our customers as they build the next generation of wireless and wireline communications systems.”

The company says its customers include the biggest cable and telecommunications companies in the country, and that it anticipates growth as those same companies spend billions in capital expenses over the coming years to expand fiber-based networks and develop the next-generation 5G wireless network — crucial to handling the massive amounts of data generated by the rise of tech, like connected devices or streaming services.

“Advances in technology have driven a massive demand for faster and more reliable wireless and wireline communication networks and QualTek is a leader in serving this dynamic segment of the market,” Brightstar Managing Director Matthew Allard said in a statement. “QualTek’s passionate management team combined with our operational experience and relationship network makes for a tremendous partnership.”

Brightstar Capital Partners was founded by Andrew Weinberg, former COO of Brightstar Corp, a mobile phone distribution and logistics firm that was acquired by SoftBank for $1.26 billion in 2014.

The private equity firm’s experience within the telecommunication industry “as well as a history of creating value in closely-held, private companies which will be instrumental as we continue to meet the growing needs of our customers and expand our geographic footprint,” Hisey said in his statement.

Blank Rome is advising QualTek in the deal and Fox Rothschild is providing the management team’s legal counsel. Winston & Strawn are legally advising Brightstar Capital Partners, while its financial advising is from both Jefferies and Stifel. Fifth Third and PNC are handling financing for the deal.