Crestview Partners forms construction service provider for broadband network operators

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Crestview Partners has formed a new company called Congruex to offer broadband network providers engineering and construction services. Congruex, backed by the PE firm, is committing nearly $500 million in equity and capital to pursue acquisitions and organic growth opportunities.

Congruex intends to bring together leading companies with a range of capabilities. The newly formed company will seek businesses providing network development, design and engineering, underground and aerial construction, wireless and wireline services, cable placement, splicing, and emergency response and restoration operations. Bill Beans, an industry veteran with 28 years of experience and the founder of Open Range Communications, will head up Congruex as CEO.

“It is a very exciting time to be investing in the highly fragmented engineering and construction services industry as investment in broadband networks as well as in utility-related infrastructure looks to be very strong for years to come,” states Beans. “We are also very pleased about the opportunity to partner with Crestview as we make Congruex the consolidation platform of choice for engineering and construction service companies looking to accelerate their growth.”

Crestview is a New York-based private equity firm that manages funds with more than $7 billion in commitments. The firm focuses on the media, energy, financial services and industrials sectors. The firm, through its portfolio company Accuride Corp. (NYSE: ACW), bought auto parts manufacturer KIC LLC. In September 2016, Crestview purchased Accuride for nearly $124 million as a growth platform company. The PE firm has also backed broadband provider Wow.

Competition for telecommunications services has dealmakers shifting their attention. Middle-market deals for telecommunications and broadband-based providers include: Marlin Equity Partners’ acquisition of Tangoe Inc. for nearly $242.6 million in cash; Chicago-based private equity firm GTCR LLC’s purchase of Internet protocol service company Inteliquent to merge with mobile carrier Onvoy; Audax Private Equity’s acquisition of telecom data provider Mobileum; and CenturyLink Inc. (NYSE: CTL) agreement to buy Level 3 Communications Inc. (NYSE: LVLT) for nearly $34 billion.

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