O2 Sells NTI Connect to ORIX

O2 Investment Partners has sold NTI Connect, a provider of cable, telecom, engineering and installation services, to ORIX Capital Partners.

NTI Connect provides specialized fiber optic technical services including fiber optic splicing, testing, connectivity and data center build-outs to fiber, wireless and broadband carriers, cable companies, data center operators and telecom companies.

NTI maintains 10 offices throughout the country and has several travel teams, allowing it to provide its services on a national scale. The company is led by its CEO Lynn Refer and is headquartered in the Chicago suburb of West Chicago (www.nti-connect.com).

“O2 was an outstanding partner in the creation of value during the ownership period and was instrumental in expanding the NTI platform into new markets and service lines,” said Mr. Refer.

NTI Connect was established by O2 with the initial acquisitions of National Technologies (www.national-technologies.com) and NTI Fiber (www.ntifiber.com) in October 2015. The platform was expanded with the acquisition of CCSI Networks (www.ccsinetworks.com) in July 2016 and the buy of Fairhaven Integration Services (www.fairhavenllc.com) in May 2017.

“NTI Connect is truly a differentiated industry leader in network deployment solution services,” said Luke Plumpton, a partner at O2. “Through management’s execution of the strategic plan, NTI achieved strong growth, expanded its market share, grew its service offering and ultimately exceeded our expectations in delivering an excellent outcome for the shareholders and our investors.”

O2 makes control investments of $5 million to $75 million in companies with EBITDAs from $2 million to $10 million located anywhere in the US and Canada but has a preference for the Midwest and the Great Lakes regions. Sectors of interest include niche manufacturing, niche distribution, select service businesses, and certain technology businesses. In October 2017, the firm held a final closing of its Oxygen Fund with an above-target $100 million of capital commitments. O2, based in the Detroit suburb of Bloomfield Hills, is backed by the Orley family which has been investing in operating businesses and real estate since 1950 (www.o2investment.com).

ORIX Capital Partners, the buyer of NTI Connect, invests from $75 million to $200 million of equity per transaction in North America based middle-market companies that are active in the business services, infrastructure services and industrials sectors. New York-based ORIX Capital Partners is a business unit of ORIX USA, a Dallas-based financial services firm. Its parent company, ORIX Corporation, is a Tokyo-based, publicly owned financial services company with operations in 38 countries and regions worldwide (www.orixcapitalpartners.com).

“The NTI team has built a company that is an exceptional and differentiated national leader in network deployment solution services,” said Terry Suzuki, president and CEO of ORIX Capital Partners. “Our country’s demand for highly scalable data capacity, ever-increasing fiber optic network reach, the upcoming 5G wireless revolution and upgraded video networks will drive growing demand for the services provided by NTI.”

Under ORIX ownership the NTI management team will remain in place to continue building the company through organic growth initiatives and add-on acquisitions. “Having demonstrated high-quality services, dependability and exceptional results for their blue-chip customers, NTI is a leader in the networking industry,” said Chris Suan, senior managing director at ORIX Capital Partners. “We are excited to partner with the NTI team to build on their growth and momentum.”

Stifel (www.stifel.com) was the financial adviser to NTI for this transaction.

© 2018 Private Equity Professional | December 18, 2018

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