Cincinnati Bell Acquired In $2.9B Private Equity Fiber, IT Services Play

The acquisition is expected to bring new resources to help CBTS, part of telecom giant Cincinnati Bell, increase its investment in communications, cloud, consulting services, security, and infrastructure.


Telecom and IT services provider Cincinnati Bell Tuesday said that Macquarie Infrastructure Partners V, part of Australia-based infrastructure asset manager Macquarie Group, has finalized its $2.9 billion acquisition of the Cincinnati, Ohio-based company.

The acquisition, first unveiled in March 2020, valued Cincinnati Bell at $2.9 billion, including debt.

With the acquisition, Macquarie gets two primary assets.

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The first is a partnership between Cincinnati Bell and Hawaiian Telcom that has resulted in a 60 percent market share of the fiber infrastructure of the greater Cincinnati area and 40 percent of the share in the state of Hawaii, enabling those areas with gigabit and 2-gigabit Internet service.

The second is CBTS, an international provider of IT services with offices in the U.S., Canada, India, and Europe. CBTS alone is ranked No. 40 in CRN’s Solution Provider 500 list.

CBTS’ clients include Fortune 500 enterprises, large healthcare organizations, universities, and state and local government organizations.

CTBS in 2000 entered the unified communications as a service industry, and in 2006 started its security practice. In 2008, it started its infrastructure-as-a-service practice, and eventually moved into services based around storage, networking, and WAN. The company in 2017 acquired OnX Enterprise Solutions, one of Canada’s largest IT solution providers with a major footprint in Europe and Asia.

Cincinnati Bell said the acquisition by Macquarie will give improved flexibility to invest strategically in its practices around communications, cloud, consulting services, security, and infrastructure, and make it easier to attract and develop IT personnel.

Cincinnati Bell did not respond to a CRN request for further information by press time.

However, Cincinnati Bell President and CEO Leigh Fox, in a prepared statement, called the closing of the transaction the beginning of a new chapter in the nearly 150-year history of the company.

“Our partnership with [Macquarie Infrastructure Partner] is tremendous news for Cincinnati Bell’s 4,700 employees, our customers, and the communities we serve. MIP has deep telecommunications expertise and a strong track record of investing in capital intensive businesses, which will be critical as we deliver on our strategy to drive next generation, integrated communications through an expanded fiber network as well as our IT services platform,” Fox said.