A group led by New Zealand infrastructure investment firm HRL Morrison & Co has agreed to buy FiberLight, a fibre network company in the United States.
Morrison & Co teamed up with Australian Retirement Trust and a Californian retirement fund managed by UBS Asset Management to strike the deal, which Bloomberg has reported as being worth US$1 billion, including debt.
The investment will accelerate Atlanta-based FiberLight's network expansion, as it attempts to take advantage of the rapidly growing fibre infrastructure market in the US.
The company's network currently serves customers in more than 30 metropolitan areas in Texas and northern Virginia, which is one of largest data centre markets in the world.
Chief executive Christopher Rabii said Morrison & Co was an ideal new partner to support FiberLight's growth strategy.
"With our existing backbone infrastructure and unmatched density across the markets we serve, FiberLight is well equipped to deploy a multitude of solutions to ensure our customers can meet their growing bandwidth needs," Rabii said in a statement.
This is Morrison & Co's first investment in North American digital infrastructure, although it has invested in solar and wind power firm Longroad Energy and Clearvision Ventures.
Last year, the Kiwi infrastructure investor opened a New York office, which now houses 10 investment staff, including William Smales, the firm's chief investment officer.
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Smales said Morrison & Co's strategy was to invest in companies with highly defensive characteristics and dependable long-term cashflows.
FiberLight's head of North America, Perry Offutt, said the company was a "well-recognised provider" of broadband internet services to hundreds of businesses.
"As the company continues to scale and deepen its presence in key US markets, we will leverage our significant digital infrastructure expertise and partner with management to address the rapidly growing demand for faster, more secure and more reliable internet access," he said.
Morrison & Co invests on behalf of sovereign wealth funds, pension funds, family offices, endowments, and other pools of capital – including NZX-listed company Infratil.