Brightstar Capital Partners Completes Acquisition of Brightstar Corp., a Leading Global Provider of Mobile Device Lifecycle Management Services

SoftBank Group Corp. Retains Minority Stake in Brightstar Corp.

New York, NY and Miami, FL, October 22, 2020Brightstar Capital Partners (“BCP”), a private equity firm focused on partnering with founders, entrepreneurs and management teams, announced today the completion of the previously announced acquisition of a majority stake in Brightstar Corp. (“Brightstar” or the “Company”), in partnership with the Company’s senior management team. An affiliate of SoftBank Group Corp. (“SoftBank”), the Company’s prior owner, will retain a minority stake in the Company.

“This is an exciting day for BCP and Brightstar Corp.,” said Andrew Weinberg, BCP Founder and CEO. “The wireless industry is growing and becoming more vital with each passing day, and we are confident our industry experience will help Brightstar continue to provide innovative services and solutions to global customers.”

“We are thrilled to start this next phase for Brightstar along with our partners at BCP,” said Rod Millar, CEO of Brightstar. “BCP brings a knowledge of Brightstar and the industry that will allow us to accelerate our strategy of growing device protection, warranty, trade-in, and supply chain solutions. Our customers, partners and employees are excited about the possibilities with our new owners.”

Headquartered in Miami, Florida, Brightstar is a global leader of end-to-end device lifecycle solutions for carriers, retailers, and enterprise, managing mobile devices and accessories across the wireless ecosystem and providing services with a particular emphasis on device protection. The company operates in approximately 50 countries.

Pursuant to the terms of the transaction, BCP will own a 75% stake, on a fully diluted basis, in a newly formed subsidiary of BCP, which will hold all shares of Brightstar’s parent company, Brightstar Global Group Inc. SoftBank will receive cash proceeds and a 25% stake in the newly formed subsidiary.

About Brightstar Corp.

Brightstar simplifies the wireless world, making mobile technology accessible to everyone. We are a global leader of end-to-end device lifecycle management solutions. We work with carrier, retail and enterprise customers in approximately 50 countries, touching every stage of a device’s lifecycle, from when it’s manufactured to the moment it’s time to trade it in and re-market it. To learn more about Brightstar, please visit Brightstar.com or contact media@brightstar.com.

About Brightstar Capital Partners

Brightstar Capital Partners is a private equity firm focused on partnering with exceptional founders, entrepreneurs and management teams where the firm is ideally positioned to drive value creation. Brightstar employs an operationally intensive approach that leverages its extensive experience and relationship network to help companies reach their full potential. For more information please visit www.brightstarcapitalpartners.com.

MEDIA CONTACTS:

For BCP:
Doug Allen/Zach Kouwe
Dukas Linden Public Relations
brightstar@dplr.com
212-704-7385

For Brightstar Corp:
Matt Holland
matt.holland@brightstar.com
305-921-1150

Brightstar Capital Partners Acquires Majority Stake in Brightstar Corp., a Leading Global Provider of Mobile Device Lifecycle Management Services

SoftBank Group Corp. Retains Minority Stake in Brightstar Corp.

New York, NY and Miami, FL, September 17, 2020Brightstar Capital Partners (“BCP”), a private equity firm focused on partnering with founders, entrepreneurs and management teams, announced today that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire a majority stake in Brightstar Corp. (“Brightstar” or the “Company”), in partnership with the Company’s senior management team.

Brightstar, a subsidiary of SoftBank Group Corp. (“SoftBank”), is the global leader of end-to-end device lifecycle solutions for carriers, retailers, and enterprise, managing mobile devices and accessories across the wireless ecosystem and providing services with a particular emphasis on device protection. Following the completion of the transaction, SoftBank will retain a minority stake in the Company.

“We are thrilled to renew our relationship with Brightstar as it continues to build on the increasing importance of mobile technology around the world,” said Andrew Weinberg, BCP Founder and CEO. “Having served as investors and operators in this industry for nearly two decades, including valuable time spent on the Company’s board, we’re confident that our experience and commitment will help Brightstar continue to provide innovative services to the global wireless industry.”

“Brightstar has always been committed to delivering innovative products and services and exceptional customer value – a tradition we’ve continued through recent significant investments in our operations, technology, and people,” said Rod Millar, CEO of Brightstar. “Our partnership with BCP provides us with additional resources and relationships to foster our continued growth and capitalize on the vast market opportunities in mobility and handset protection. We are excited to join forces with such a proven team to further enhance our service offerings and expand our market leadership.”

“Since I founded Brightstar over 20 years ago, the Company has grown tremendously and become a leader of end-to-end device lifecycle solutions,” said Marcelo Claure, Founder of Brightstar and COO of SoftBank Group. “I am incredibly proud of what Brightstar has accomplished over the years and am excited for an even brighter future. SoftBank looks forward to partnering with BCP as Brightstar enters into its next phase of growth.”

Headquartered in Miami, Florida, Brightstar is at the heart of the wireless ecosystem, serving carrier, retail, and enterprise customers across approximately 50 countries. The Company operates at every stage of the device lifecycle, providing integrated services, including device protection insurance, supply chain management, and trade in services.

The transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions, is expected to close before the end of SoftBank’s fiscal year ending March 31, 2021. In connection with the transaction, BCP will own a 75% stake, on a fully diluted basis, in a newly formed subsidiary of BCP, which will hold all shares of Brightstar’s parent company, Brightstar Global Group Inc. SoftBank will receive cash proceeds and a 25% stake in the newly formed subsidiary.

About Brightstar Corp.

Brightstar simplifies the wireless world, making mobile technology accessible to everyone. We are a global leader of end-to-end device lifecycle management solutions. We work with carrier, retail and enterprise customers approximately 50 countries, touching every stage of a device’s lifecycle, from when it’s manufactured to the moment it’s time to trade it in and re-market it. To learn more about Brightstar, please visit Brightstar.com or contact media@brightstar.com.

About Brightstar Capital Partners

Brightstar Capital Partners is a private equity firm focused on partnering with exceptional founders, entrepreneurs and management teams where the firm is ideally positioned to drive value creation. Brightstar employs an operationally intensive approach that leverages its extensive experience and relationship network to help companies reach their full potential. For more information please visit www.brightstarcapitalpartners.com.

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Doug Allen/Zach Kouwe
Dukas Linden Public Relations
brightstar@dplr.com
212-704-7385

For Brightstar Corp:
Rafael de Guzman
Rafael.deGuzman@brightstar.com
305-987-5121

How Family Businesses Can Navigate The Greatest Wealth Transfer In Human History

Andrew Weinberg, Founder, Managing Partner & CEO of Brightstar Capital Partners contributes to Forbes.com

You know something’s a big deal when it gets a formal name. So it is with what’s now generally referred to as the “Great Wealth Transfer.”

This unprecedented economic phenomenon will impact some of us directly, but its far-reaching effects on our economy will touch every one of us. At the epicenter of change will be family business owners. It is critical for different generations in those families to understand the phenomenon’s implications and position themselves to benefit from them.

Let’s start with the mind-boggling numbers. According to a 2018 report by Cerulli Associates, 45 million U.S. households will transfer $68 trillion in wealth over the next 25 years, with the vast majority going to their heirs – equivalent to 80% of 2018 global GDP. Nearly $9 trillion, or almost half of U.S. GDP, will be transferred in the next 7 years alone. While Gen X is forecast initially to be the biggest beneficiaries, millennials will not be far behind.

This vast flow of capital will be complemented by two mega-trends: digitization, which is being accelerated by the current COVID-19 pandemic, and climate change. Millennials are the first generation of “digital natives” and the first to see climate change for the existential threat it is. They’re already shaping the debate on both and influencing older generations, as evidenced by the recent growth of ESG tools and offerings.

As millennials’ wealth quintuples by 2030 and they rise to leadership positions, they will want to build the companies and infrastructure to capitalize on digitization and find economically profitable solutions to climate change.

This will cause tensions with the “old ways of doing things,” especially at family-owned businesses. At Brightstar Capital Partners, we consistently work with families and see this inter-generational debate play out. According to a recent Deloitte Family Business Survey, just over 1/3 of families agree that business objectives align with family goals, less than 1/3 fully agree about the future development of the business, and exactly 1/3 would already be willing to give up control of the family business. This is a complex dynamic, but it leaves families with three fundamental options.

  1. Retain full business ownership, create internal processes to drive alignment with family goals. This is the hardest option, as the new leadership will have to overcome significant inertia and anchoring to “the old ways.” Both academic and anecdotal research are full of examples where leadership was passed on, only to be reclaimed by the older generation when change became too radical.
  2. Retain (full or partial) ownership, bring in outside help to drive alignment with family goals. This has the advantage of outside management sending a clear message of change, particularly when it comes with additional capital. But even in this option, many examples exist where “the old ways” eventually reassert themselves.
  3. Sell the business (fully or partially), and realize the family goals outside of the business (e.g., via a family foundation or a family office that makes active investments). This has the advantage of separating family goals from the business, treating it as a purely economic endeavor. However, it is not an automatic winner, as many family businesses derive economic and competitive advantage from being run with a long-term mindset that embodies the family’s values. Many businesses suffered when the new owners unintentionally destroyed the ‘secret sauce’ that family ownership brought.

Looking at those options, two conclusions come readily to mind. First, the historic transfer of wealth will be complemented by an equally historic number of family businesses that will invite outside owners and managers to help move the business forward. This explains why middle market private equity continues to thrive, and deal volumes grew by nearly 70% in the last five years.

Second, any new owners must maintain a close collaborative relationship with the family to ensure the future success of the business. The new leadership must study and adapt that ‘secret sauce’ to understand the interaction and synergy between family values and business operations that made the business thrive in the first place.

This is not a space for cookie cutter solutions learned in the latest business school classes. Family businesses operate in a complex web of interactions with a wide ecosystem, including their local communities. New owners who fail to understand this, will destroy more than just EBITDA.

There are no easy answers, and each family will rightfully choose its own path – but I am optimistic. The innovation and new thinking brought by new generations, complemented by a supportive ecosystem of new managers and capital providers, will result in an even stronger set of companies over the next decade. By incorporating the ESG principles that millennials have already brought to the forefront, those companies will undoubtedly improve the world in addition to delivering returns. And that is a silver lining indeed!

MEDIA CONTACT:

Zach Kouwe
Dukas Linden Public Relations
212-704-7385

COVID-19 Bolsters The Need For Investment In 5G

Andrew Weinberg, Founder, Managing Partner & CEO of Brightstar Capital Partners contributes to Forbes.com

5G infrastructure offers a huge opportunity post-COVID-19 QUALTEK LLC

The devastating COVID-19 pandemic is accelerating digital transformation of the ways we interact and do business. As Microsoft MSFT +4% CEO Satya Nadella recently noted, “We’ve seen two years’ worth of digital transformation in two months.”

A lasting consequence will be that more goods and services will be delivered electronically, more work and learning will be done remotely, and entities from businesses, to governments, to non-profit organizations will have to prioritize the adoption of digital technology.

5G technology will be an essential enabler of this transformation. The use cases it underpins in healthcare, manufacturing, mobility and retailing could add 3.5-5.5% to global GDP created in those domains over the next decade – a crucial contribution to the economic recovery following our current crisis with its unprecedented stimulus measures that stretch public-sector balance sheets.

Full disclosure, I’ve been involved in the wireless industry for nearly two decades and two of our portfolio companies are involved in the sector. This has given me insight into the importance of building out 5G across the U.S., and doing it right.

An opportunity for the U.S.

While much is made of China’s five-year commitment of $184 billion in 5G infrastructure, in truth there is no one country “winning the race.” Rather, a cluster of pioneering countries has emerged, including not only China and the U.S., but also South Korea, Australia, Qatar, Switzerland, Finland, Spain and The United Arab Emirates. Given the size of its market and the dynamic ecosystem of its private sector, the U.S. is well positioned to play a leading role in harnessing the power of 5G. But make no mistake, the public and private sectors need to focus and work together in order to take advantage of the opportunity.

The middle-market opportunity

As little as 15 years ago, a small company would face significant hurdles in setting up its technology systems. Servers needed to be bought or leased, software installed and security designed. Today, a combination of cloud computing and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) has largely removed those hurdles, allowing smaller and younger companies to compete with incumbents.

5G will do the same again for the physical world. It will combine a quantum leap in bandwidth and resilience with Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices, of which over 40 billion are forecast to be connected by 2025. The opportunity will grow exponentially – over 75% per year just in 5G infrastructure over the next six years – and create immense value for startups and mid-market companies.

Imagine a regional water company using 5G and IoT to continuously monitor its pipelines, identifying and repairing the smallest leaks before they become an issue. Or an industrial equipment company remotely keeping an eye on its fleet, running diagnostics while the equipment is in use – and dispatching a team for pre-emptive maintenance in the evening.

A manufacturing company using augmented reality to give step-by-step instructions to workers on the shop floor, allowing them to undertake advanced tasks without waiting for specialist engineers or incurring costly machine downtime. 5G can make all of these dreams become reality, helping increase efficiency and reducing waste – in environmental, societal and economic terms.

What it will take

A few simple steps will be necessary for the U.S. to establish a leadership role in harnessing the benefits of 5G, which needs to be an important element of any federal infrastructure plan. I serve on the board of CTIA, the U.S. wireless industry association, where we work closely with the public sector to ensure such plans efficiently enable the roll-out of this crucial infrastructure by:

  • Harmonizing and coordinating state and local government rules and permitting processes
  • Allocating resource to training programs that ensure a supply of skilled labor
  • Fostering public-private partnerships to accelerate 5G innovation and development

I’d also add that necessary investments, from both the public and private sectors, need to be made with a patient mindset. If we have learned one thing from the transformational introduction of the internet, it is that bubbles and bursts should be avoided where at all possible. 5G will transform industries for decades, if not centuries. The next quarter will give only very limited guidance.

If we bring these steps together and make 5G a priority in the post COVID-19 world, I have no doubt that the U.S. will emerge as a global leader in the next wave of transformative technology. We’ve consistently risen to the challenge in the past, and we must do it again.

MEDIA CONTACT:

Zach Kouwe
Dukas Linden Public Relations
212-704-7385

Private Equity Will Show its True Colors in the COVID-19 Recovery

Andrew Weinberg, Founder, Managing Partner & CEO of Brightstar Capital Partners contributes to Forbes.com

As our country and economy try to deal with and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, private equity will play a key role in helping many middle-market businesses survive and ultimately thrive. This may come as a surprise to some people, whose opinions of private equity have been formed by media portrayals that fail to accurately represent the value that private equity brings to the table. Unfortunately, the public image of private equity is still dominated by a narrative created 31 years ago in “Barbarians at the Gate” – where brazen dealmakers chased mega-deals with huge check books, adding large amounts of debt to the balance sheets of acquired companies in the pursuit of financial engineering.

This narrative of aggressive deal-making and big takeovers misses the vast majority of the value creation and activity of the private equity industry. Over 8,500 companies in the U.S. are backed by private equity, nearly twice the number listed on U.S. stock exchanges. The majority of those private equity-backed companies operate in the middle-market, with annual revenues of $25 million to $1 billion. Those are not the mega-deals that make headlines, but they represent the majority of private equity activity in the real economy. These middle market companies help drive our economy, accounting for a third of U.S. private sector gross GDP and jobs.

A more collaborative style of Private Equity

For families, founders and entrepreneurs who’ve built these middle market companies, partnering with a private equity firm means an infusion of capital to grow a local franchise into a regional franchise. It means being able to make necessary investments to upgrade critical systems, and consolidating fragmented suppliers into more meaningful, long-term relationships that grow with the company. And most importantly, it means access to expertise from executives who have previously led similar efforts and can guide a company towards its new, ambitious future.

This style of private equity is far less worried about trimming corporate excess than focused on scaling a business model beyond its initial proving ground. It is collaborative, rather than adversarial, with existing management. It often works with families, founders and entrepreneurs who have built the business from the ground up and are now looking to create a sustainable legacy both for their own family and the community where their business operates.

COVID-19 is a major test for the industry

In these unprecedented times due to COVID-19, companies of all shapes and sizes must navigate a sea of uncertainty. Firms like ours continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with our partners and are committed to doing what we’ve always done, adding value as part of a mutually beneficial relationship. Unlike many larger companies, middle-market businesses cannot readily tap public capital markets. They can and do turn to private equity firms to provide the necessary resources.

As liquidity crunches arise, private equity firms are able to use their financial expertise and relationships to help shore up a company’s financial situation. As supply chains are interrupted, firms are able to use the private equity firm’s sector experience and networks to find new paths forward. As manufacturing facilities and work environments must be re-configured in order to keep employees safe and abide by social distancing guidelines, firms are able to share and implement best practices across their portfolio of businesses. As communities struggle to cope with the impact of the virus, we support our portfolio companies in the local engagement that forms part of their middle-market DNA.

Impact through portfolio companies, not through headlines

The work is far from over – in the middle market, private equity is about scaling, improving and connecting companies to make them more resilient and successful. As the world is learning how to deal with the pandemic, business models will change and some industries will have to significantly transform. It is in those circumstances where our industry’s combination of patient capital, operational expertise and global networks make a difference. The proof will not be in headlines, but in the thousands of portfolio companies that emerge stronger and better equipped to move forward.

This is not to deny the importance of good deal making – of course a good entry point is important when investing. But I believe that at the end of this crisis, the private equity industry will not be measured by how many more deals we picked up at a good price. We will be judged by how we helped our portfolio companies and their communities succeed in a profoundly changed world.



See article on Forbes.com

MEDIA CONTACT:

Zach Kouwe
Dukas Linden Public Relations
212-704-7385

CTIA Certification Appoints Its First Authorized Service Center

Global Resale’s Global Headquarters facility in Austin, Texas achieves first certification for high-volume device refurbishment

WASHINGTON, May 18, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — CTIA Certification today announced that Global Resale’s Austin, Texas Global Headquarters is the first facility to receive the CTIA Authorized Service Center certification for performing high-volume wireless device refurbishment.

“This is an important step to maintaining the wireless industry’s high standards for consistency and quality across the ecosystem,” said Tom Sawanobori, Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, CTIA.

The CTIA Authorized Service Center Program certifies facilities that meet the highest standards for servicing of wireless devices, enabling the supply chain to provide high-quality pre-owned devices to consumers.

“We’re pleased to work closely with the mobility industry to raise the bar for a higher mobility processing and refurbishment standard,” said Jeff Zeigler, founder and CEO of Global Resale. “By taking steps to become the first globally certified CTIA Authorized Service Center, we can assure our customers they will consistently receive responsible mobility device processing at the highest level.”

Facilities that qualify for CTIA Authorized Service Center certification must:

  • Maintain a high level of service quality and possess ISO 9001 accreditation – a standard that demonstrates their ability to consistently meet customer requirements and improve processes
  • Demonstrate repeatable and documented device inspection, triage and repair processes
  • Commit to sustainable operations and achieve R2 Certification – a standard governing the responsible reuse and recycling of electronics
  • Agree to annual audits to ensure continued commitment to quality and security

The CTIA Authorized Service Center Program was created by CTIA’s Reverse Logistics and Service Quality (RLSQ) Working Group, and is a continuation of the group’s work in establishing world-leading standards for pre-owned wireless devices in the marketplace. The certification working group is led by representatives from AT&T, Samsung and Ingram Micro, and includes representatives of companies throughout the wireless ecosystem.

“Collaboration with the mobility device OEMs, the carriers, and other related parties to identify high standards at a Service Center level has been enlightening for the Global Resale team. It’s an important first step in creating Best Practices for the mobility industry as a whole,” said Mike Watson, Chief Compliance Officer for Global Resale.

CTIA’s RLSQ Working Groups convene members representing the entire reverse logistics community to address the mobile industry’s challenges, set certification standards for technicians, establish common device grading definitions and methodology and develop requirements for service facilities and retailers for industry-recognized service excellence standards in repair and refurbishment of secondary devices.

More information on the CTIA Authorized Service Center Program is available here.

SOURCE CTIA


Related Links

http://www.ctia.org

MEDIA CONTACT:

Zach Kouwe
Dukas Linden Public Relations
212-704-7385

Global Resale Expands Capabilities with Acquisition of CFA Trading

Further Expansion into Europe Shows Growth of the Circular Economy

Austin, TX, March 20, 2020 – Global Resale (“The Company”), a leading, global provider of aftermarket services and reverse logistics, focused on resale, processing and disposition of technology devices, announced today that it has completed the purchase of CFA Trading (“CFA”). Terms of the transactions were not disclosed.

CFA, founded in 2004 and based in Poole, UK, is a leading technology refurbishing company in the UK. The company has become the largest Microsoft Authorized Refurbisher (MAR) in Europe, and refurbishes, repairs, and upgrades computers, mobile devices and other IT assets.

“We are thrilled to partner with CFA to expand our refurbishment capabilities globally and increase our processing capacity,” said Jeff Zeigler, CEO of Global Resale. “Our team has worked with CFA co-owners Leon Lindblad and Jo Seager for more than 15 years and know first-hand they live up to their motto of ‘Innovative Refurbishment’ by focusing on the quality of their systems for repairing and upgrading equipment, and thinking of every important detail when serving customers.”

“We feel strongly that Global Resale is the perfect match to lead our company into the future,” said Leon Lindblad and Jo Seager, the husband and wife team who founded and own CFA. “Global Resale’s strong market presence and deep relationships across the industry will allow us to grow and reach new customers in the U.K. and around the world.”

About Global Resale
Global Resale is a full-service, international resell and reverse logistics business focused on the mobile, IT, and electronics sectors. Global Resale partners with the leading manufacturers, carriers, lessors, retailers, resellers, and large corporate accounts to handle their worldwide reverse logistics needs. With state-of-the-art processing centers in Texas (Global Headquarters) and Essex (European Headquarters), Global Resale serves as a single-source solution for its partners, offering the full range of reverse logistics capabilities, including takeback, collection, inventory, data sanitization, repair, harvesting, and resell. For more information please visit www.globalresale.com.

About CFA
CFA is one of the leading technology refurbishing companies in the UK. The company has become the largest Microsoft Authorized Refurbisher (MAR) in Europe, and refurbishes, repairs, and upgrades computers, mobile devices and other IT assets. The main principals of CFA center around our green credentials and our circular economy ethos. Our talented team of engineers have created a range of market leading processes that are unique to CFA and standard bearers in the industry. For more information please visit www.cfatrading.co.uk.

MEDIA CONTACT:

Zach Kouwe
Dukas Linden Public Relations
212-704-7385

PRESS RELEASE


Capstone Nutrition granted ISO/IEC 17025 Accreditation through A2LA

Ogden, UT, March 9, 2020 – Capstone Nutrition (“Capstone” or the “Company”) announced today it has been granted ISO/IEC 17025:2017 accreditation from the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA) (certificate #5682.01) in association with Capstone’s in-house testing laboratory for nutrition and dietary supplements.

Capstone Nutrition is one of the largest contract manufacturers of health and dietary supplements in the United States, and has served customers throughout the world for 28 years. It is rare for a contract manufacturer to be granted ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation, and provides a significant advantage for the Company’s customers and their globally-recognized brands by demonstrating impartiality and consistency in testing. A2LA is considered a premier accreditation body.

“Achieving ISO 17025 accreditation has been a key focus of our Capstone Quality Team,” said Kevin Elsberry, Capstone COO. “I am extremely proud of our team, their passion for improvement, and their discipline to this standard. This achievement is further evidence that Capstone’s ongoing commitment to science, performance, and trust is the foundation for providing the highest standard of testing and quality assurance for our products.”

“Earning A2LA ISO 17025 accreditation is consistent with our vision, mission, and values” said Capstone Director of Quality, Ryan Bitter. “It confirms our laboratory discipline, expertise, and commitment to safety and quality. We have excellent scientific personnel, strong processes, and will continue expanding our analytical capabilities to add value for our Capstone team, our customers, and consumers.”

“This high bar in accreditation confirms the importance of discipline as a Capstone value,” added James Hinkle, Plant General Manager. “Being disciplined in our individual roles and processes allows us to live up to our “Life Improved” motto for our team and our customers. This is one more way we show that we passionately innovate, formulate, manufacture and sell superior quality nutrition.”

About Capstone Nutrition

Capstone Nutrition is the leading pure play, turnkey developer and manufacturer of high-quality nutrition. It is a one-stop shop for innovators in nutrition, led by experienced and dedicated scientists and trusted industry professionals. Since 1992, Capstone has been formulating, developing, manufacturing and packaging a wide range of capsules, tablets, and powders for customers around the globe. Headquartered at a state-of-the-art facility in Ogden, Utah, Capstone is known for exceptional quality and market-leading product development. The Company maintains the highest industry certifications recognizing its exceptional manufacturing standards, including Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (“TGA”), NSF GMP, and NSF for Sport certification. For more information, please visit www.CapstoneNutrition.com.

MEDIA CONTACT:

Zach Kouwe/Doug Allen
Dukas Linden Public Relations
212-704-7385

Here’s how the US can get the best out of 5G

By Andrew S. Weinberg, Founder, Managing Partner and Chief Executive Officer, Brightstar Capital Partners

  • The global economic impact of 5G is estimated to exceed $12 trillion dollars in the next 15 years.
  • The US risks being left behind in rolling out 5G connectivity.
  • But with the right approach, the US can still play a leading role.

Around the world, businesses, governments and NGOs are excitedly anticipating the benefits of 5G. This truly revolutionary technology will unlock enormous opportunity: connecting underserved populations; bringing economic prosperity to remote areas; making communities smarter and safer; and powering growth in a vast array of technological fields.

However, the infrastructure required to support 5G is not being rolled out at a consistent pace around the world. In China, for example, the state-controlled economy allows for the broad and rapid deployment of 5G infrastructure. By contrast, wireless providers in the US must work with local, state and federal governments, regulators and thousands of local communities in order to build the required infrastructure.

If the US does not take a more focused and deliberate approach to enable the extensive infrastructure needed to accommodate this transformative technology, it will risk being left behind.

Greatest infrastructure project in US history

Commonly referred to as 5G, the fifth generation of mobile broadband technologies delivers significant improvements over the 4G standard, including much faster data rates and sharply reduced network communication delays (known as latency). 5G therefore can support massive growth in connectivity and traffic density/volume – enabling more mobile and connected communities, economies and institutions worldwide.

5G has been called the “greatest infrastructure project in US history.” The economic value derived from deploying 5G in such areas as artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles, the internet of things (IoT), industrial software, robotics, and semiconductors is expected to top $2 trillion by 2025. Longer term, the global economic impact of 5G is estimated to exceed $12 trillion dollars in the next 15 years.

However, the widespread adoption of 5G will require vast new infrastructure. A McKinsey study estimates that implementing such 5G applications as enhanced mobile broadband, IoT, and mission-critical applications will require a 10-fold increase in network performance over current levels. Thus, mobile operators must invest in major infrastructure enhancements, including (but not limited to) access to spectrum, cell sites, fiber optic networks, fronthaul and backhaul. By some estimates, the cost of implementing 5G technology worldwide is expected to reach at least $2.7 trillion by the end of 2020.

Harmonizing local processes

Across the US, telecom carriers and cable providers have committed extensive capital to implement 5G. At the national level, the FCC has created much of the required regulatory framework. Yet, more work must be done to harmonize disparate regulatory and permitting processes at the state and local levels. Local permitting processes must be fast-tracked to enable construction of cell sites and other infrastructure. Existing national standards should be adopted consistently by states and localities. And, local jurisdictions should add more resources to manage the process.

Developing a skilled workforce

A skilled workforce is also essential. Workers installing 5G equipment need to have the necessary technical capabilities – and in some cases must also be able to climb 100-foot utility poles.

In today’s tight US labor market, carriers and cable companies need to partner with local governments and educational institutions to ensure access to well-trained workers.

To secure the assistance of local governments in harmonizing rules and processes, and collaborating on training programs, the private sector must educate officials about the benefits of 5G – and the painful consequences of falling behind in implementation. In this regard, I want to applaud the efforts of CTIA, which represents the US wireless industry, to inform the public of the enormous potential of 5G and the need to facilitate wide scale implementation.

Global examples of 5G leadership

If the US wishes to lead in the deployment of 5G – as I believe it must – it will need to keep pace with other countries that have made 5G implementation a top priority. While experts differ as to which nations lead in 5G, most rankings include China, South Korea, Australia, Qatar, Switzerland, Finland, Spain and United Arab Emirates. The US is somewhere in the top five, however.

In China, for example, the government’s 13th Five-Year Plan describes 5G as a “strategic emerging industry” and “new area of growth.” Similarly, South Korea also has made it a policy to stimulate 5G deployment, setting the ambitious goal of creating 600,000 jobs and $73 billion in exports by 2026.

The US can play a leading role

While the US should be concerned that other countries are leading in 5G deployment, there are some bright spots. The US is still ahead of China in launching commercial service. While Chinese operators don’t plan to start selling 5G service until 2020, the major US wireless carriers have rolled out mobile 5G service in several cities, or have announced definitive plans for doing so.

Some local governments and/or public-private partnerships in the US are also working to accelerate 5G deployment. In 2017, Sacramento, California, announced a pilot with Verizon to deliver super high speed wireless connectivity. Similar pilots are in process or pending in Ann Arbor, Michigan; Atlanta, Georgia; Dallas and Houston, Texas; Denver, Colorado; Miami, Florida; Seattle, Washington; and Washington, D.C.

If the US does not maintain a leading role in 5G deployment, it risks delaying the benefits that will accrue from greater connectivity, in areas such as job creation, education, health and safety, and community development. Equally important, the US should have a fair share of the global economic opportunity that will result from 5G’s technological advances.

For the US to effectively implement 5G on a nationwide scale, it must:

  • Harmonize and coordinate state and local government rules and permitting processes.
  • Institute training programs to ensure a supply of skilled labor.
  • Form public-private partnerships to accelerate 5G innovation and deployment.

The private sector also must play a leadership role. As the founder of a private equity firm whose portfolio includes a leading telecom services provider, I am aware of the operational challenges and capital demands associated with 5G implementation. It is essential that US corporations and investors make it a priority to provide the investment dollars and intellectual capital needed to make 5G a reality.

MEDIA CONTACT:

Zach Kouwe/Doug Allen
Dukas Linden Public Relations
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Davos Dispatch: Andrew Weinberg, Founder, Managing Partner & CEO of Brightstar Capital Partners Shares Five Highlights from the World Economic Forum’s 50th Annual Meeting

I’ve been fortunate to attend the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos for nearly the last decade. While there are always engaging conversations and interesting themes, I felt this year was marked by a tangible change in the conversations. The emphasis moved from deliberation to action. In session after session and behind the scenes, I noticed a more detailed dialogue taking place – one focused on what can be done to address the most important issues of the day rather than just discussions on what the issues are. Here are some of my highlights:

  1. Stakeholder Capitalism. This year, the theme of the Annual Meeting was “Stakeholders for a Cohesive and Sustainable World.” While this concept may seem ephemeral or conceptual, it permeated every session I attended or spoke at, as well as the dialogue on the sidelines. The question wasn’t whether to engage all stakeholders, including employees, customers, communities, investors, and shareholders, but more specifically how to do it effectively.

    Leaders in offices and boardrooms across the world, in both public and private companies, are trying to figure out the answers. With new constituents being the focus of stakeholder capitalism, finding the right balance between them all will be a key challenge that businesses will have to address going forward.
  2. Climate Change Occupied Center Stage. Microsoft certainly helped lead the way going in to the Forum’s Annual Meeting with their recent announcement on a plan to be completely carbon neutral by 2050. With the topic taking center stage throughout the program, I’m optimistic that we’ll see similar announcements from the world’s largest companies often in collaboration with governments and other stakeholder groups.

    There’s no doubt that Microsoft’s announcement served as a catalyst, as did the Forum’s Climate Initiative, but future generations were well represented in the discussion for the first time. Greta Thunberg’s speech attracted worldwide attention and the Forum’s own media analysis showed “How to Save the Planet” was the media’s #1 topic.

    But the key point for me is not the increase in the number of discussions or media coverage, but the dramatic shift in the nature of these discussions towards specific goals and initiatives. Organizations across the board, from incumbents to disruptors to companies and countries with the largest CO2 footprints, are all trying to figure out the best ways to proactively deal with climate change and mitigate climate risk.
  3. From Understanding Technology Disruption and the 4IR to Ecosystem Strategies. One of the more interesting things I did at Davos was moderate a panel on “ecosystem strategies,” or how companies create value by designing orchestrated networks that span multiple industries and sectors. (For a deep dive on ecosystem strategies check out this Harvard Business Review article.)

    We’ve never been at a more interesting time for disruptive technology, or a more critical time for creating ecosystem. It’s a complex conversation, but one that many innovative companies are having. The reality is, given the rapidly changing nature of industries, figuring out how and why to develop an ecosystem strategy is vitally important to any company’s competitiveness. With the stakes so high, it’s imperative to examine the past and learn from examples of organizations that were able to create successful ecosystems, and also from those that failed.
  4. The Rise of Private Equity. One major highlight was participating in a panel on the future of private equity and how themes that other corporate leaders are discussing fit into the asset class. The growth of private equity has been enormous. In 2009, private equity firms completed 1,927 deals worth $142 billion, according to the financial data firm Pitchbook. By 2018, there were 5,180 private equity deals worth $727 billion. That still pales in comparison to the overall capital markets, but it’s encouraging to see both LPs and GPs engaging to better understand what the future drivers of growth will be.
  5. The Shift Continues from Public to Private Markets. I also participated in two investment stewardship sessions, and was struck by the consensus that the massive shift of capital from public to private markets is going to continue for the foreseeable future. In the US, for example, the number of public companies has decreased by more than half since 2007, while the number of private companies keeps growing. Right now, there are roughly 200,000 privately-held and family-owned companies in the middle market alone. For us at Brightstar Capital Partners, that means a continued focus on founder, family and entrepreneur led businesses. We’re determined to understand the needs of these businesses, what they can teach us, and how we can help them grow and successfully navigate the challenges ahead.

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