In an industry where the largest public tower companies get bigger and bigger, the Pinpoint Capital Advisors team continues to be hyper-focused on the small and mid-market, its raison d’etre.
Pinpoint is a leading brokerage and capital-raising advisory firm that specializes in the communications infrastructure industry – including the towers and land-under-towers sectors – and works exclusively with dynamic small and mid-sized companies and the entrepreneurs that lead them.
Small and mid-size companies don’t always have access to sophisticated financial advice to help them maximize value when it’s time to sell. According to Pinpoint, these same companies may also struggle to access efficient and lower-cost capital to build their businesses. Long-time telecom investment banker Andrew Semenak launched Pinpoint in 2010 with a vision to provide these companies with advice and access to capital to compete, on an equal footing, with even the largest and most sophisticated players in the tower sector. For over a decade now, Pinpoint’s focus and commitment to the small and mid-market has helped it achieve success for its tower clients.
Semenak has two decades of telecom investment banking and industry expertise; Associate Vice President Jonathan Lawrence is also a seasoned global investment banking professional; and key members Adrian Grandilli and Karim Iskander bring focused tower analytics skills and insight, and fresh perspective.
Pinpoint’s laser-focus on communications infrastructure is not limiting. In fact, Associate VP Lawrence says he and his team feel there is an “outsized opportunity” for Pinpoint to grow in a world now more reliant than ever on essential communications infrastructure.
“We’re very bullish on the industry and our business. And we like our competitive positioning too,” he said. “There are a number of mid-market focused investment banks, and we notice them changing their focus. They are being acquired or merging to do bigger deals. We’re not going to do that. We’re going to stay the course.”
What constitutes “small and mid-market” in the fast-moving and faster-growing towers sector? Semenak says his firm is “ideally placed to advise on transactions ranging from $20 million to several hundred million dollars. That’s really our sweet spot, and we call that the ‘small and mid-market.’”
In addition to its targeted approach, what sets Pinpoint apart is its relationships and its depth of experience in sale processes and capital raising. Pinpoint’s connections span the tower sector – from the tower developer building ten to fifteen towers per year, to the industry giants. But just as important are its relationships with longer term, lower-cost capital institutional investors including pension plans, infrastructure funds, insurance companies, private equity and family offices which Pinpoint leverages to achieve the best terms and pricing for its clients.
Pinpoint employs a meticulous, hands-on approach diving deep into its clients’ tower businesses. One of its key strategic advantages is its proprietary tower analytics. “By the time we go to market as part of a sale or capital raise, we’ve uncovered key value insights, including the areas of growth in a portfolio or the company and we create compelling marketing material that leverages that analysis,” explains Semenak.
One recent transaction (and success story) is Pinpoint’s 2020 capital raising for leading regional U.S. tower owner and developer TowerCom. TowerCom, based in Florida, is a business with a 25-year history of tower ownership and development. The firm has built around 600 towers. The company sought additional equity to help finance its build-to-suit development plan.
“We were able to run a highly-structured, competitive transaction process generating significant investor interest and inciting numerous competitive bids, and successfully closed the deal with two leading institutional investors: M/C Partners, a Boston-based PE firm and Fengate Asset Management, a Canadian infrastructure fund,” Semenak said. “Our client benefited from a unique, highly attractive structure while gaining access to substantial capital from longer-term financial partners that will help fund the ongoing development of hundreds of towers in the U.S.”
Pinpoint has recently worked with other high-profile companies and institutions including Landmark Dividend, InSite Wireless, Richland Towers, Turris Sites and AIMCo, one of the largest pension plans in Canada.
The challenges that 2020 have surfaced have magnified the importance of communications infrastructure. Semenak suggests it’s an optimal time for smaller tower companies to think big.
“With tower multiples approaching near all-time highs, we think now is as good a time as any for tower owners to take note and consider whether they would like to realize value for their efforts,” he said. “And if companies are interested in expanding to take advantage of growth from 5G, a new T-Mobile, and DISH build outs, it’s also a great time to access efficient low-cost capital with demand for tower infrastructure investment as strong as ever.”