UK-headquartered neutral host provider Boldyn Networks, majority owned by Canada-based CPP Investments, has agreed to acquire private networks specialist Edzcom from Spanish tower company Cellnex Telecom for an undisclosed fee. The deal is for Cellnex’s entire private networks business, which mostly equates to Finland-based Edzcom. Cellnex has owned Edzcom since July 2020. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2024.
Edzcom bills itself as “the largest independent provider of private networks solutions” and “European market leader” in the space. It claims 50-odd private LTE and 5G deployments in Finland, France, Germany, Spain, Sweden, and the UK in the manufacturing, ports, oil and gas, energy, and mining sectors. It has been a close partner of Nokia’s, in particular, through the early development of the private cellular market,
Boldyn, rebranded from BAI Networks in March following a rush of acquisitions, said the deal will “advance [its] private networks strategy” and “increase its neutral host capabilities”, notably in the hard-nosed Industry 4.0 space. It said it will give it new presence in Finland, Spain, Germany, Sweden, and France, and bolster its status in the UK and Ireland. Boldyn noted its “important presence” in Italy besides. It also works in the US.
Boldyn has good-looking private and neutral-host deals of its own, including a 20-year deal with Transport for London, and multi-carrier 5G setups at the First Direct Arena in Leeds and Olympia Exhibition Centre in London. It is also engaged with the City of Sunderland for its neutral-host 5G smart city network, and has Industry 4.0 deals of its own at the Moray East wind farm in the North Sea, and claims ongoing deployments at the Cowtown Coliseum and at the Dignity Health Sports Park in the US.
Igor Leprince, group chief executive at Boldyn, said: “Boldyn is leading the way in bringing private networks to our customers so they can meet their operational and connectivity challenges. Edzcom… [is] an important addition to our team to capture the potential of this market across continents. From venues and wind farms to ports and manufacturing sites, we are… the partner of choice for 5G private and converged network infrastructure projects.”
Mikko Uusitalo, chief executive at Edzcom, said: “Cellnex has enabled us to expand from the Nordics to the largest countries in Europe. We are excited about the opportunity to continue our rapid growth now under Boldyn. Boldyn is… acquiring a strong, senior team with experience from over 50 deployments… We share the same vision and I am convinced… we’ll consolidate our market leadership in bespoke private mobile networks and expand geographically.”
Oscar Pallarols, global director of innovation, business development and technology at Cellnex, commented: “As part of our focus on tower-based activities and businesses and their adjacent assets, Boldyn Networks is the ideal operator to usher Edzcom into a new phase of expansive growth. Given that private networks are among Boldyn’s core activities, they are undoubtedly the ideal partner for Edzcom in this next phase of their growth.”