Backed by M/C Partners, Neutral Connect Networks Buys DAS Communications, 5 Bars

July 12, 2017 — 

M/C Partners, a Boston-based telecom private equity firm, has formed Neutral Connect Networks (NCN), which purchased of DAS Communications and 5 Bars. M/C Partners is NCN’s lead investor and has committed up to $30 million to fund the firm’s continued expansion.

“We are excited to have the opportunity to combine these two leading players in the small cell arena to create Neutral Connect,” Brian M. Clark, M/C managing partner, said. “M/C Partners has a long and successful heritage in the wireless industry, and we believe that the small cell opportunity represents a massive shift in the network architecture of mobile carriers, which we are keen to participate in.”

Telecom executive Paul McGinn was hired as CEO of the newly formed NCN. McGinn was most recently the director of business development at Vertical Bridge and previously the CEO of CIG Wireless. He has also worked with TCP Communications and SBA Communications.

“This transaction brings together two complementary neutral host operators, and the combined business will have a broad geographic presence across the United States,” McGinn said.

McGinn has hired Brian Porter, former vice president of in-building at Ericsson, as the senior vice president of sales and operations for the new company. Porter has 17 years of wireless-industry experience with such companies as STI Brasil, American Tower, FiberTower and Spectra Site.

DAS, founded in 2007 by Tyler Kratz, has built and continues to operate multiple wireless networks at strategic venues in Boston and New York.

California-based 5 Bars deploys DAS systems in the sports and entertainment sectors, with deployments in numerous large stadiums and casinos. 5 Bars’ DAS team will play a role in the new company, and John Clarey, 5 Bars’ former CEO, will continue as an investor in NCN.

“The financial commitment from NCN and M/C Partners provides 5 Bars the needed resources to continue to build and operate the large projects it has in its pipeline.” The terms of the all-cash transaction remain confidential.

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