DIF Capital Partners (“DIF”), via DIF CIF II (the “Fund”), is pleased to announce that it has reached an agreement with Joink, LLC (“Joink” or the “Company”) to be its growth capital partner, opening the door to significantly more investment and growth. Joink is a telecommunications infrastructure company that currently provides enterprise fiber, residential fiber, and fixed wireless services in Western Indiana and Eastern Illinois. Subject to regulatory approval, the partnership with DIF will allow Joink to expand its fiber optic network to residential and enterprise customers at a much faster pace.
Joink started providing internet service to residents and businesses in Eastern Illinois and Western Indiana in 2001 using fixed wireless. Since 2014, the Company has expanded to serve thousands of end users in West Central Indiana with fiber, including priority infrastructure for education, healthcare, enterprise, and other telecommunications carriers. It has always been Joink’s intention to further extend its fiber to the single-family home and multi-dwelling unit offerings. Joink currently has 88 employees and growing.
“DIF believes the future fiber-to-the-home roll out is critical to ensure that residents in Indiana and Illinois have reliable high-speed internet access through Joink’s fiber network. DIF is excited to partner with a well-established fiber and fixed wireless company such as Joink and its experienced management team. Joink’s approach to investing in residential fiber infrastructure fits DIF’s ambition to invest in the US fiber industry. In addition to creating local jobs, this investment helps bridge the digital divide in online education, remote employment opportunities, telemedicine and other prospects afforded by broadband access” said Willem Jansonius, Partner and Head of Investments for the DIF CIF strategy.
“We are grateful for the support in growing our business from our team members and their families, our customers, vendors, long-term investors and financing partners, permitting authorities, state and local government, and the communities in which we live and work,” says Josh Zuerner, Joink President and CEO. “That support has enabled us to attract the investment from DIF – a world-class infrastructure investment fund. We don’t take the trust we’ve gained over the last twenty years for granted and will continue to build upon it by showcasing our unwavering commitment to high-quality Internet access.”
While DIF is investing in Joink, all existing investors will continue to remain invested in the Company. Hank Stephens, one of the earliest investors in Joink, notes, “When Brian Wick and I decided over 20 years ago to invest in a startup company in Terre Haute called Joink, we were excited about the potential Joink had to provide Internet service to people with limited or no options. As we look back today, I don’t think either of us could have envisioned the tremendous impact that Joink would ultimately have on the residents and businesses of West Central Indiana. We are grateful to the Joink employees as well as our fellow investors who have helped get Joink to where it is today and are excited about this new partnership and opportunity to expand further.”
Cowen and Company served as financial advisor to Joink. Agentis Capital served as financial advisor to DIF.
Joink is Midwest’s leading providers of wireless Internet service in rural markets in Indiana and Illinois. Joink has installed over 540 miles of fiber in the five-county area and offers service to enterprise, commercial, carrier, and residential customers. Joink’s main fiber network ring connects Vigo, Vermillion, Parke, and Clay County. It also has fiber-optic assets throughout Sullivan County. Joink operates over 100 fixed-wireless transmit points. Building and maintaining a large network requires tremendous knowledge and expertise, and customers grew to recognize and count on that expertise. As a result, they increasingly leaned on Joink to assist them when faced with technology challenges. Joink addresses these challenges through its Hosting, Technology Services, and Managed Services divisions. Last year, the State of Indiana awarded seven Indiana Next Level Connects Projects to Joink. Additionally, Vigo County Government and the City of Terre Haute supported the Vigo County School Corporation in extending Joink’s network to 84 community access locations. More info: http://www.joink.com
About DIF Capital Partners
DIF Capital Partners is a leading global independent fund manager, with more than €9.0 billion in assets under management across nine closed-end infrastructure funds and several co-investment vehicles. DIF Capital Partners invests in greenfield and operational infrastructure assets located primarily in Europe, the Americas, and Australasia through two complementary strategies:
- Traditional DIF funds, of which DIF Infrastructure Fund VI is the latest vintage, target equity investments with long-term contracted or regulated income streams including public-private partnerships, concessions, utilities, and (renewable) energy projects.
- DIF CIF funds, of which DIF CIF II is the latest vintage, target equity investments in small to mid-sized economic infrastructure assets in the telecom, energy, and transportation sectors.
DIF supports the goal of Net Zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, in-line with global efforts as a result of the Paris Agreement to have net zero emissions by 2050, or sooner.
DIF Capital Partners has a team of over 170 professionals, based in ten offices located in Amsterdam (Schiphol), Frankfurt, London, Luxembourg, Madrid, New York, Paris, Santiago, Sydney, and Toronto. For more information please visit www.dif.eu.
Allard Ruijs, IR & BD