A Different Kind of Sale
Originally partners at an IT company, Evan Schroeder and Chris Teetaert founded Swift High Speed in 2013 in response to the growing demand for high quality internet in underserved communities in rural Manitoba. When Evan and Chris launched the company, they both knew they might sell one day.
This year, although the company was still in its youth and Evan and Chris felt they still had a lot to give to the industry, selling became the best option. As the demand for high-speed internet increased and the potential to expand became clear, the partners realized they had two major challenges. The first was access to capital to fund potential growth. The second was the competitive landscape as large facilities base providers were aggressively building fiber networks to deliver services in rural areas. These competitors were able to offer many additional services making it difficult for Swift to compete and remain profitable.
This was more than just a sale of a company; it was launching into a whole new business in partnership with the purchaser. What originally began as a single transaction evolved into three agreements that each became deeply intertwined with the sale. In the end, the deal was about the acquisition of a business, a transition services agreement, and a construction agreement.
Working together with Stage Left Partners, Swift High Speed was able to execute a transaction that allowed their staff to flourish, ensured continued high service standards for their current customers, and allowed the partners to remain involved in the industry. On September 8th , 2021, Xplornet Communications acquired Swift High Speed and will accelerate its broadband fibre expansion to over 7,000 new homes.
Acquisition and Agreements
Stage Left Partners went above and beyond to negotiate all three components ensuring both sides were happy with the parameters of the agreement which involved multiple interconnected transactions. Although it took some time to finalize, all three agreements were put together and carefully negotiated. When it got beyond their scope of practice, specifically with the construction agreement, Stage Left Partners engaged other professionals to ensure this component was as solid as any in Stage Left’s core areas of expertise.
From Transaction to Final Sale
Stage Left was a great asset in navigating multiple conversations and eliminating buyers’ offers that did not meet Swift’s objectives. The best outcome for Swift High Speed included their objectives of making sure the staff was taken care of and that a high level of service was maintained.
There were difficult negotiations throughout the transaction but these hard discussions were the catalyst for healthy conversations and building a strong relationship between the two parties. Stage Left’s win-win approach prompted Swift High Speed to ask the right questions and get clear about what was most important. The Stage Left team maintained focus on moving forward and drove the process through to closure.
Building Swift High Speed was done with great care, and it was not something Evan and Chris wanted to sell in haste. Stage Left Partners understood the importance of getting things right and allowed sufficient time to complete the sale.
Beyond the Deal
Throughout this process, a strong relationship was formed. Although Stage Left Partners continue to be available if needed, Swift High Speed and Xplornet now have a direct working relationship thanks to the facilitation efforts of Stage Left Partners.
Evan and Chris will continue to work with Xplornet as they build on the existing legacy and the expansion of a cutting-edge fibre to-the-home network further and faster into rural Manitoba.
“We are delighted to work with Xplornet to enhance the service experience for our current and new customers as we expand fibre into the region far beyond what we were capable of doing on our own”