Colony Capital becomes $60bn platform with Digital Bridge acquisition

Investment firm Colony Capital said today it is acquiring Digital Bridge Holdings for $325m (€291m) as it announced plans to strengthen its digital infrastructure and real estate platform.

Colony is offering to pay two-thirds of the acquisition amount in cash and the remaining will be paid in the form of Colony shares.

Digital Bridge manages nearly $20bn of digital infrastructure globally, including the recently announced acquisition of Zayo Group Holdings, and the acquisition will give Colony $60bn of assets.

In May this year, Zayo agreed to be bought by Digital Colony Partners and an EQT infrastructure fund in a deal valued at $14.3bn.

Colony said as part of the acquisition of Digital Bridge –  which will be implemented over 18 to 24 months – Marc C Ganzi, a founder and CEO of Digital Bridge, and a managing partner and an investment committee member at Digital Colony, will become the CEO of Colony, succeeding Thomas J Barrack Jr, who will return to the position of executive chairman.

Ganzi will focus with Barrack and the Colony board and executive team to continue Colony’s strategic plan of selling non-core assets, reducing general and administrative expenses, growing investment management, generating liquidity and de-risking, and maintaining real estate investment trust status and a dividend.

Colony said it expects to announce further details before the year-end.

Barrack said Colony was founded to pursue value-added investment opportunities in real estate and real estate operating companies and has been a ”pioneer across a myriad of real asset cycles, geographies, and platforms”.

“As our experiential world gives way to a new future – a data-driven world – real estate in its current format with long-dated contractual revenue streams from traditional tenants will have to change and adapt or face substantial obsolescence.”

Ganzi said: “Our combined vision will focus on the reality that ever-larger numbers of people will use ever more devices, and the true explosion of use, driven by interconnected devices, cloud computing, mobility, big data, the internet of things, and especially the 5G roll-out, is still to come.

“Together as the new Colony, we are excited to bring these opportunities to investors.”




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