GTCR LLC has agreed to buy telecom network provider Inteliquent Inc. (Nasdaq: IQNT) for nearly $800 million. The target will merge with GTCR portfolio company Onvoy LLC, a wired telecommunications carrier, as part of the deal.

Inteliquent, headquartered in Chicago, provides internet protocol-based interconnection network services for wireless carriers, cable companies, local carriers and broadband providers. The target’s offers local voice, long distance, access tandem, toll free, messaging, and direct inward dialing services. Founded in April 2001, Inteliquent previously operated under the name Neutral Tandem. The target later sold its data division in 2013 to focus solely on voice services.

Onvoy is also a telecom network that provides enabling services to the wireless, over-the-top (OTT), voiceover internet protocol, and wireline communication companies. Based in Minneapolis, Onvoy uses a software-based application program with its network of physical switches to provide infrastructure management to carriers. The company also offers private label carrier services for U.S. telephone companies who have been providing local services since the Telecommunications Act of 1996, allowing them to compete with major competitors. GTCR acquired Onvoy in April 2016 from Zayo Group Holdings Inc.

GTCR is a Chicago-based private equity firm that has invested in more than 200 companies across the financial services and technology, healthcare, and technology, media and telecommunications industries. The firm has invested more than $10 billion in capital since its inception in 1980.

GTCR has been rather busy with dealmaking. In 2016 alone, the firm: sold an aircraft maintenance software company to The Hearst Corp.; purchased Optimal Blue, a vendor of product and pricing engineer software; created a new venture to focus on acquiring specialty companies within the pharmaceutical industry; and also made a $500 million deal to purchase Lytx, a seller of subscription-based services used to help fleet operators improve driver safety. GTCR won Mergers & Acquisitions' 2013 M&A Mid-Market Private Equity Firm of the Year award.

Perella Weinberg Partners is acting as financial adviser to Inteliquent and Kirkland & Ellis LLP is serving as legal counsel. Credit Suisse is serving as financial adviser to GTCR and Onvoy while Latham & Watkins LLP is acting as legal counsel.


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