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Surprise: more private-equity funding in wireless

The mantra of OPM-other people’s money-is alive and well in wireless.
The latest private-equity investments, announced yesterday, include New York-based Lindsay Goldberg’s $283 million stake in Brightstar Corp., which is expanding its wireless distribution and supply chain operations globally.
Separately, Los Angeles-based Platinum Equity is set to purchase WFI’s wireless deployment business for $24 million.
Privately held Brightstar has recently announced a joint venture with Tech Data Corp. for European operations and its expansion in North America and Asia. The Lindsay Goldberg stake will help finance those efforts, according to the two firms.
According to Brightstar, it counts facilities in 49 countries and earned more than $3.5 billion in revenue last year. Lindsay Goldberg manages more than $5 billion in equity investment.
WFI provides information technology, command-and-control engineering, weapons systems maintenance and security to the U.S. government. It will sell its wireless deployment business and its Wireless Facilities name to Platinum Equity for $18 million in cash and another $6 million in a three-year, earn-out arrangement. The divestiture will lead the company to change its name to reflect its evolving focus on national security, defense and network services for the government, according to Eric DeMarco, president and CEO of WFI.

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