EQT to buy majority stake in Spirit Communications

The Swedish firm will make the acquisition through its third infrastructure fund, while Spirit’s founding partners will retain a significant share.

EQT Infrastructure is acquiring a majority share of Spirit Communications, a South Carolina-based fibre and broadband service provider.

Financial details of the transaction were not released, but Spirit’s founding partners will retain a “significant ownership interest” in the company. Its chief executive, Robert Keane, and board chairman Brian Singleton will both be appointed to the new board of directors.

The investment will be made from the €4 billion EQT Infrastructure III fund, which closed in February. Keane said the deal came “after many months of effort to identify the right partner to continue and accelerate Spirit’s capabilities”, leading to the agreement with the Stockholm-based firm.

Founded in 1985, Spirit provides services in South Carolina as well as neighbouring North Carolina and Georgia. The firm has around 250 employees, according to its website.

EQT entered the US telecoms market in February, when it purchased fibre-optic internet provider Lumos Networks Corporation in a $950 million deal. That acquisition was also backed by the firm’s third fund. The vehicle has focused on the telecoms sector, also buying Danish data communications firm GlobalConnect and forming a joint venture with German energy services provider Getec Energie. The fund also paid $875 million for a 90 percent stake in Global Gateway South, a terminal in the Port of Los Angeles.