Conterra Networks Expands Service to Las Cruces, New Mexico

Investment of More than $5 Million in New Mexico

 Charlotte, NC: August,  2019 – Conterra Ultra Broadband Holdings, Inc. (“Networks (Conterra”), a leading provider of fiber-optic network services, announced today it has made significant investments to expand its network to serve enterprise and wholesale customers in the Las Cruces area.

The network expansion is driven by a combination of large multi-year contract awards, a market need for better local broadband connectivity options, and Conterra’s strategic infrastructure development plans to increase the scope and density of its network. In total, the capital invested represents over 100 miles of fiber in New Mexico, and more than 8,200 fiber-strand miles. The company will be opening a new local sales and operations office to leverage its local network to serve the area.

For over five years Conterra has steadily invested in and operated its fiber-optic network in El Paso. The total capital invested to date exceeds $35 million. The company now boasts 420 miles of fiber (comprised of over 60,000 fiber-strand miles) serving the El Paso, Las Cruces and neighboring areas, all supporting the ongoing sale and delivery of advanced data, Internet and voice services to the growing market.

Conterra Network’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Craig Gunderson said, “We continue to invest capital and resources in our Southwest market. We are pleased that based upon our success in delivering advanced services, we are able to leverage and grow our existing broadband network infrastructure. This allows us to better serve our existing customers by connecting additional locations, and to win new customers by offering superior service that’ll be 100% supported by our local team of employees. We look forward to serving these customers in our newly enabled markets.”

About Conterra Networks

Conterra Networks is one of the largest independent broadband infrastructure companies in the United States based on its fiber and wireless assets and revenues. The company is majority-owned by Court Square Capital, a private equity firm with approximately $6 billion of assets under management, with the remaining ownership largely held by Conterra Networks’ management team. The company’s other institutional financial partners include Toronto Dominion Bank, CoBank, Bank of America, ING Capital, Fifth Third Bank, Regions Bank, and Webster Bank.

Conterra Networks Announces New Vice President of Sales and Marketing

 

Conterra Announces Promotions as Part of Growth Initiatives in El Paso, Texas

Charlotte, North Carolina—July 2, 2019:  Conterra Ultra Broadband Holdings, LLC (“Conterra Networks”) today announced the promotion of Adrian Garcia to Vice President of Enterprise Sales and Marketing. Mr. Garcia will lead the company’s growing enterprise business segment, overseeing Conterra Networks’ sales, marketing, and product management organizations throughout its operating footprint in the United States. Mr. Garcia had been serving as Area Sales Manager for Conterra’s South West Region in El Paso, Texas.

Mr. Garcia brings 18 years of technical sales, operations, engineering and leadership experience within the broadband infrastructure and telecom industry. His expertise includes solutions engineering and talent development.

Conterra Networks also announced the promotion of Kirk Jefferson, an El Paso-based telecom leader to Area Sales Manager. Mr. Jefferson will focus on building upon Conterra’s success in El Paso. Mr. Jefferson is a 28-year veteran of the telecom industry, during which he’s held a variety of general management, sales, business development, and leadership roles in the Southwest.

Other announcements include the promotions of El Paso-based Kenneth Unpingco, to Director of Outside Plant, and Ignacio Alvarado, to Construction Manager. Together, Messrs. Unpingco and Alvarado bring over 30 years of broadband infrastructure and telecom experience in outside fiber plant engineering and operations. Their expanded roles will support Conterra’s continued growth initiatives within the region, particularly in El Paso.

Craig Gunderson, Conterra’s President and Chief Executive Officer, commented, “With Adrian’s leadership and vision, our local El Paso team successfully built a culture based on integrity, customer engagement and responsiveness.  This foundation has fueled our growth and reputation for partnering with customers to achieve their objectives. I look forward to working with Adrian as a key member of Conterra’s leadership team.” Mr. Gunderson added, “The promotions of Kirk, Kenneth and Ignacio recognize their remarkable achievements, team orientation and hard work along with that of the entire local team. I look forward to their future contributions and remain excited about working to support customers in El Paso and our South West Region.”

About Conterra Networks
Founded in 2003, and now operating more than 11,000 fiber route miles, Conterra is one of the largest remaining independent broadband infrastructure companies in the United States based on its optical fiber and fixed wireless network assets and annual recurring revenues. The company is majority owned by Court Square Capital, with a minority stake held by Fiera Infrastructure and the remaining ownership largely held by Conterra’s management team. For more information about Conterra, please visit www.conterra.com.

 

CONTERRA ANNOUNCES PROMOTIONS AS PART OF LONG-TERM MANAGEMENT SUCCESSION PLAN

 

Gunderson Appointed CEO; Leeolou Moves to Executive Chairman

 

Charlotte, North Carolina—May 8th, 2019:  Conterra Ultra Broadband Holdings, LLC (d.b.a. “Conterra Networks”) today announced a series of promotions as part of a management succession plan to support the Company’s next phase of growth. Conterra announced that Craig Gunderson has been appointed Chief Executive Officer.  Mr. Gunderson will be responsible for all day-to-day operations, finance and legal-regulatory affairs of the company and will report to the Board of Directors. Mr. Gunderson joined Conterra in April 2017 as President and Chief Operating Officer. Prior to joining Conterra, he spent 14 years with Oxford Networks (now part of FirstLight), the last ten years as its Chief Executive Officer.

Along with Mr. Gunderson’s promotion, Conterra announced that its long-time CEO, Stephen Leeolou, has been named Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors.  Mr. Leeolou will continue to assist the company on certain strategic and corporate development initiatives. “Since hiring Craig Gunderson in 2017, Conterra has made tremendous progress in transforming our business into one of the nation’s leading fiber optic-based bandwidth infrastructure companies,” commented Mr. Leeolou.  “Craig’s leadership and business skills, along with his significant past experience in the telecom industry, including 14 years as a regional fiber company CEO, make him an ideal choice to lead Conterra into its next exciting stage of growth.  I am delighted to pass the baton to my highly capable and respected colleague and friend.” added Mr. Leeolou.

Conterra also announced today a number of other senior leadership promotions as part of its management succession plan.  Mike Tompkins is being named Executive Vice President & Chief Operations Officer; General Counsel Shane Turley is being promoted to an Executive Vice President; and Christopher Harris is being named Chief Technology Officer. Conterra’s first and current Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Eric Burgess, will remain in that role and will report to Mr. Gunderson along with Messrs. Tompkins and Turley.   “I am honored to take over the CEO’s role from Steve to lead such a well-established and financially strong company as Conterra,” commented Mr. Gunderson.  He continued: “Our business is at an exciting inflection point and I could not have a better team with which to pursue the many growth opportunities within our core operating regions.”

Commenting on today’s announcements, Christopher Bloise, Managing Director at Court Square Capital, noted:  “We sincerely thank Steve Leeolou who has been a great partner for the past five years and has helped build Conterra into a strong multi-regional infrastructure solutions provider surpassing $100 million of annual revenue last year.”  Mr. Bloise added: “We are excited about the senior management team led by Craig, Eric, Mike and Shane who will continue to drive momentum in our business.” Alina Osorio, President at Fiera Infrastructure, commented, “We believe that Conterra has been and will continue to be well positioned in the telecom industry and we look forward to the company’s continued success under the leadership of Craig Gunderson and his executive team.”

 

About Conterra Networks

Founded in 2003, and now operating more than 11,000 fiber route miles, Conterra is one of the largest remaining independent broadband infrastructure companies in the United States based on its optical fiber and fixed wireless network assets and annual recurring revenues. The company is majority owned by Court Square Capital, with a minority stake now held by Fiera Infrastructure and the remaining ownership largely held by Conterra’s management team. For more information about Conterra, please visit www.conterra.com

About Court Square Capital

 Court Square is a middle market private equity firm with one of the most experienced investment teams in the industry. Since 1979, the team has completed over 225 investments, including several landmark transactions, and has developed numerous businesses into leaders in their respective markets. Court Square invests in companies that have compelling growth potential within the business services, general industrial, healthcare, and technology and telecommunications sectors. The firm has $6.2 billion of assets under management and is based in New York, N.Y. For more information on Court Square, please visit www.courtsquare.com.

 About Fiera Infrastructure

Fiera Infrastructure is a leading global mid-market direct infrastructure investor operating across all subsectors of the infrastructure asset class. Led by a team of highly experienced and specialized professionals, the firm leverages strong global relationships, with a local presence in Toronto, London and New York. Its rigorous approach to investment and asset management aligns with its long-term approach. Fiera Infrastructure has assets under management and commitments of C$1.6 billion, including an active interest in 27 infrastructure assets as of March 31, 2019. http://www.fierainfrastructure.com

CONTERRA NETWORKS ANNOUNCES NEW EQUITY INVESTMENT AND DEBT FACILITIES

 

Transactions Support Next Phase of Broadband Infrastructure Growth

Charlotte, North Carolina—May 1, 2019:  Conterra Ultra Broadband Holdings, Inc. (“Conterra Networks” or “Conterra” or “the Company’) announced today Fiera Infrastructure Inc. (“Fiera Infrastructure”), a  leading global mid-market direct infrastructure investor and an affiliate of Fiera Capital Corporation, has acquired an indirect equity interest in the Company from Court Square Capital Partners (“Court Square”) and certain other indirect equity holders of Conterra, including members of Conterra’s management team. Conterra is one of the largest independent fiber bandwidth providers in the United States with networks that span 21 states in the Southeast, South Central and Western United States. Fiera Infrastructure’s investment in Conterra will be added to its open-ended global mid-market infrastructure fund.

Conterra, headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, is a national provider of bandwidth infrastructure services, specializing in the design, deployment and operation of customized broadband networks, largely in underserved areas. Conterra’s 11,100-route mile fiber network brings high-capacity middle and last-mile broadband services to enterprise, carrier and education customers.

Conterra Networks also announced the closing today of $365 million of new first lien and second lien debt facilities, strengthening the Company’s long-term capital structure and positioning it for further growth as a leading provider of fiber bandwidth services. A portion of the proceeds were used to repay all outstanding amounts under the Company’s former credit agreements. Conterra’s senior debt facilities will now be monitored and rated by Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s.

“We look forward to working together with our new business partner, Fiera Infrastructure, who shares our enthusiasm about Conterra’s future growth prospects, commented Steve Leeolou, Conterra’s Chief Executive Officer. “This is an exciting time for Conterra. The new investment by Fiera Infrastructure coupled with the continued support of Court Square and our lenders provides Conterra with additional resources to continue to respond to broadband opportunities in our underserved, Tier II and Tier III markets. “

Evercore and TD Securities acted as financial advisors, and Dechert LLP acted as legal advisor, to Court Square and Conterra in connection with this transaction.  Morgan Lewis served as Conterra’s regulatory counsel.

About Conterra Networks

Founded in 2003, and now operating more than 11,000 fiber route miles, Conterra is one of the largest remaining independent broadband infrastructure companies in the United States based on its optical fiber and fixed wireless network assets and annual recurring revenues. The company is majority owned by Court Square Capital, with a minority stake now held by Fiera Infrastructure, and the remaining ownership largely held by Conterra’s management team.

About Court Square Capital

Court Square is a middle market private equity firm with one of the most experienced investment teams in the industry. Since 1979, the team has completed over 225 investments, including several landmark transactions, and has developed numerous businesses into leaders in their respective markets. Court Square invests in companies that have compelling growth potential within the business services, general industrial, healthcare, and technology and telecommunications sectors. The firm has $6.2 billion of assets under management and is based in New York, N.Y. For more information on Court Square, please visit www.courtsquare.com.

About Fiera Infrastructure

Fiera Infrastructure is a leading global mid-market direct infrastructure investor operating across all subsectors of the infrastructure asset class. Led by a team of highly experienced and specialized professionals, the firm leverages strong global relationships, with a local presence in Toronto, London and New York. Its rigorous approach to investment and asset management aligns with its long-term approach. Fiera Infrastructure has assets under management and commitments of C$1.6 billion, including an active interest in 27 infrastructure assets as of March 31, 2019. http://www.fierainfrastructure.com

CONTERRA TO ACQUIRE ANOTHER TEXAS/LOUISIANA FIBER SERVICES BUSINESS

Transaction Will Strengthen Competitive Fiber Presence in the Gulf Region

Charlotte, North Carolina—August 21, 2018:  Conterra Ultra Broadband Holdings, Inc. (“Conterra Networks”) today announced the signing of an agreement to acquire Network Communications Telecom (“Network Communications”), a Longview, Texas-based regional fiber-optic-based telecommunication services business.

This transaction will expand Conterra Networks’ fiber in two of its largest operating states, Texas and Louisiana. Network Communications’ network will significantly increase the fiber density in Shreveport, Louisiana and East Texas and add last-mile and regional transport access to thousands of enterprise businesses in the region.  The acquisition is expected to close August 31, 2018 and is complementary to the recently completed acquisitions of Network USA and Detel that also provide fiber-based services to Louisiana and East Texas.

“As Conterra continues to strengthen its ability to serve large multi-site customers with fiber-based services, this is another important acquisition as it expands our fiber networks to adjacent communities and deepens our coverage in the East Texas and Louisiana region.  Network Communications possesses a highly talented team of telecommunication professionals focused on providing business customers with exceptional services from a competent team who live and work in the communities they serve.  In addition to their leading-edge fiber network, they bring an evolved set of efficient processes, a broad set of products and important systems to serve the enterprise segment” commented Craig Gunderson, Conterra’s President and Chief Operating Officer.

Across its purpose-built fiber networks, Network Communications delivers a broad suite of voice and data services. It has distinguished itself as a customer-focused organization during its almost 30 years of operation.

Network Communications’ President and CEO, Tony Cason, noted: “In the markets we serve, Network Communications is uniquely known for providing personal service by industry experts that are highly responsive to our customers and heavily involved in the local community.  Our commitment is to preserve this hard-earned reputation and continue to grow our capabilities to our customers.  This combination supports this commitment as Conterra shares a passion for customer service excellence and giving back to the communities they serve.”

Conterra Networks is one of the largest remaining independent broadband infrastructure companies in the United States based on its fiber assets and revenues. The company is majority owned by Court Square Capital, a private equity firm with approximately $6 billion of assets under management, with the remaining ownership largely held by Conterra Networks’ management team. The company’s other institutional financial partners include Toronto Dominion Securities, CoBank, Bank of America, ING Capital, Fifth Third Bank, Regions Bank, and Webster Bank. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed, and the transaction remains subject to customary closing conditions.

NEW NETWORK, 100X FASTER INTERNET SPEEDS PLANNED FOR PICKENS COUNTY SCHOOLS

Pickens County schools are looking at internet service that is up to 100 times faster, thanks to a partnership between the school district and Conterra Networks. The School District of Pickens County has entered into a multi-year agreement with Conterra Networks to deploy an all fiber optical network to support the data, video, and voice requirements of its schools.

“We are thrilled we are able to give our students a network that is up to 100 times faster than our existing network without spending additional dollars,” said Dr. Danny Merck, SDPC Superintendent. “By rethinking how we spend existing funds and taking advantage of E-rate, we are bringing money Pickens’ residents pay in their phone bills back to the county’s students.”

In technical terms, the fiber optical network will provide 10-gigabit connectivity to each SDPC location when completed and is scalable to 100 gigabits with no additional construction. Conterra monitors, manages, and supports its networks on a 24x7x365 basis and guarantees network performance and reliability. Currently, the district has 100 megabits at most elementary schools, 500 megabits at most middle schools, and 1 gigabit at most high schools.

The network is set for completion in the summer of 2019.

The project is funded in large part by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) E-rate program through telephone fees. The primary goal of E-rate is to ensure affordable access to high- speed broadband in schools and libraries. The remaining funds will come from existing district dollars. According to Merck, the district is allocating money spent on the existing network toward this project.

According to Dr. Barbara Nesbitt, the Executive Director of Technology for SDPC, “Emerging educational and video applications are increasingly moving to cloud-based environments. With our  one-to-one Tech It Home initiative and other innovative practices like project-based and personalized learning, it is critical we provide our teachers and students with a high-speed, secure, and reliable network.”  There are many immediate benefits to increased bandwidth.  Andy Coleman, Director of Technology Services for SDPC, noted, “With the new network, we will be able to administer state-mandated tests in one week instead of spreading testing out over several weeks.  This means all students will have more instructional days prior to testing, not just those who are lucky enough to be scheduled at the end of the testing window.”

Ray Farley, executive director of Alliance Pickens, is also pleased with the infrastructure advantage this fiber brings to Pickens County. “Conterra Networks is building over 100 miles of fiber in the county. While the fiber network will primarily serve the county’s schools, local businesses can also benefit from the new fiber optical network.” Conterra’s EVP Van Snowdon notes, “We continue to offer school districts aggressive network solutions at affordable rates, while bringing fiber to rural areas that traditionally cannot access high-speed broadband for local business needs.”

The district worked with Polly and Ed Gifford of Education Partners Solution, Inc. to design and procure the fiber network. Education Partners Solution, Inc. is a technology consulting firm specializing in K–12 infrastructure design. “We’ve worked with schools in states like Texas for over 20 years to construct and lease fiber for wide area network and Internet connectivity such as the one Pickens is building. The availability of high capacity Internet has increased and cost of services in the entire state has dropped dramatically. We’re excited that Pickens is leading the way to competitive fiber and Internet pricing for their area and as a model for other schools in South Carolina,” says Polly Gifford, owner and principal consultant.

About Conterra Networks

Conterra Networks is a national provider of managed fiber-based, carrier-grade telecommunications solutions for schools, healthcare providers, telecom carriers, municipalities and enterprises that require bandwidth intensive, network connectivity and Internet services. Conterra Networks, and its subsidiaries, currently provide these services to over 3,000 locations throughout the United States. For more information about Conterra, visit www.Conterra.com or call 877-365-6701.

About Education Partner Services, Inc.

Education Partners Solution (EPS) was founded in 1996 with the goal of providing vendor independent technology consulting and technology architectural services; strategic and tactical systems planning based on technology alignment with K-12 district goals; E-Rate planning, procurement filing and support; and technical project procurement with contract fulfillment and quality assurance management. For more information about EPS, visit www.eps4.com/about.

Conterra Networks Completes Acquisition of Gulf Coast Regional Fiber-Optic Provider

Transaction To Increase Company’s Fiber Operations to More Than 9,500 Miles

Charlotte, North Carolina—January 29, 2018:  Conterra Ultra Broadband Holdings, Inc. (“Conterra”) today announced the signing of an agreement to acquire affiliated companies, Network USA, LLC and Sun America, LLC (combined, “NUSA”), both Louisiana-based regional fiber-optic network services businesses.

This transaction will increase Conterra’s fiber presence by nearly 3,000 miles in two of its largest operating states, Louisiana and Texas, expanding its regional fiber footprint throughout the Gulf Coast/East Texas region and providing entry into two new states: Arkansas and Mississippi.  The NUSA fiber network is complementary to the assets of Conterra’s previously announced acquisition of Detel Communications, another significant Louisiana-based fiber-optic network services provider.

“This is another important competitive enhancement for Conterra as we densify our infrastructure in existing commercial markets and increase our fiber network connectivity and regional service offerings,” commented Conterra’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Steve Leeolou. “This acquisition will connect and expand Conterra’s existing networks in the Gulf Coast/East Texas region, while simultaneously adding management, operational and product portfolio depth in dozens of communities in this part of the country,” added Mr. Leeolou.

Network USA is a rapidly growing builder, owner and operator of facilities-based lit and dark fiber primarily in Louisiana and Texas with a successful operating history of nearly two decades.  NUSA serves the same industry customer segments as Conterra:  wireless and landline carriers, healthcare organizations, government and mid-sized as well as Fortune 500 enterprises.

“Our team is really excited to become part of Conterra.  Our service area in Louisiana and East Texas is a great strategic fit and our fiber assets in Arkansas and Mississippi will provide Conterra immediate access to new markets,” said James Davis Network USA’s president. “The combined network assets of our two organizations will significantly benefit our existing customers by enabling new technical capabilities and opening new growth opportunities including alternative transport options for wholesale carriers,” noted Mr. Davis.

Conterra is one of the largest remaining independent broadband infrastructure companies in the United States based on its fiber assets and revenues.  The company is majority owned by Court Square Capital Partners, a private investment firm with approximately $6 billion under management, with the remaining ownership largely held by Conterra’s management team.  The company’s other institutional financial partners include Toronto Dominion Bank, CoBank, Bank of America and ING Capital.  Terms of the transaction, which is subject to pending regulatory approvals, are not being disclosed.

Conterra to Acquire Gulf Coast Regional Fiber-Optic Provider

Transaction Increases Company’s Fiber Network to Approximately 10,000 Miles

 Charlotte, North Carolina—April 9, 2018:  Conterra Ultra Broadband Holdings, Inc. (“Conterra Networks”) announced today it has completed its previously announced acquisition of affiliated companies, Network USA, L.L.C. and Sun America Communications, LLC (combined, “Network USA”). Both companies are Louisiana-based regional fiber-optic network services businesses.

The completion of this transaction reinforces Conterra Networks’ position as a major fiber-optic service provider in the Gulf Coast and East Texas region. The acquisition adds nearly 3,000 route miles of fiber and increases Conterra Networks’ national fiber presence to approximately 10,000 miles further strengthening the company’s position as one of the largest independent providers of fiber-based network services.

“Our integration efforts are proceeding well ahead of schedule and we continue to find additional operational and network synergies, “commented Conterra Networks’ President and Chief Operating Officer, Craig Gunderson. “We have accelerated the merging of the two organizations to fully leverage the human capital and capabilities of both companies. The combined company will accelerate growth and strengthen Conterra Networks’ competitive position in the region.”

Network USA is a rapidly growing builder, owner, and operator of facilities-based lit and dark fiber primarily in Louisiana and East Texas with a successful operating history of nearly two decades. Network USA serves the same industry customer segments as Conterra Networks: wireless and landline carriers, healthcare organizations, government and mid-sized as well as Fortune 500 enterprises.

Conterra Networks is one of the largest remaining independent broadband infrastructure companies in the United States based on its fiber assets and revenues. The company is majority owned by Court Square Capital, a private equity firm with approximately $4 billion of assets under management, with the remaining ownership largely held by Conterra Networks’ management team. The company’s other institutional financial partners include Toronto Dominion Bank, CoBank, Bank of America, ING Capital, Fifth Third Bank, Regions Bank, and Webster Bank. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

 
Media Contacts: 
Eric Burgess, Chief Financial Officer   Craig Gunderson, Chief Operating Officer
709-936-1810                                      704-936-1812
eburgess@conterra.com                    cgunderson@conterra.com

CONTERRA HIRES FIBER INDUSTRY VETERAN AS PRESIDENT & CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER

Craig Gunderson is former Chief Executive of Oxford Networks

 Charlotte, North Carolina—May 31, 2017:  Conterra Ultra Broadband Holdings has announced the hiring of Craig S. Gunderson as its President & Chief Operating Officer.  In his new role, Mr. Gunderson will be responsible for the day-to-day operations and consolidated financial results of the Company.  He will report to the Company’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Stephen Leeolou.  After an appropriate transition period, Conterra’s Executive Vice President of Operations and Technology, Dennis Francis, will be retiring from day-to-day responsibilities but will remain an active advisor to the Company.

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FIBER INDUSTRY VETERAN HURLEY JOINS CONTERRA’S BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Charlotte, NC—February 28, 2017: Conterra Ultra Broadband Holdings, Inc. today announced that fiber industry veteran Michael Hurley is joining the company to serve on its Board of Directors.

Mr. Hurley was a member of the founding team at Fibertech Networks where he was Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing with responsibility for the company’s carrier and enterprise sales/revenue growth from its inception in 2000 through Fibertech’s merger with Lightower in 2015. After the merger, Mr. Hurley served as Lightower’s President, Wholesale Solutions & Rochester Region, until February 2016. He now owns and operates a telecommunication advisory firm. Prior to co-founding Fibertech, Mr. Hurley held various sales positions at MCI, Frontier Corporation and New England Telephone.

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