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Deals & Dealmakers

Colony reconfigures after $325M digital buy

Colony Capital’s Thomas J. Barrack, Jr. will step down as CEO of the company following its $325 million acquisition of Digital Bridge Holdings.

Barrack will return to the position of executive chairman following a transition period when Marc C. Ganzi, a founder and CEO of Digital Bridge, will take the reins.


“Nine months ago when I returned to the CEO position,part of our plan was to ensure that our leadership and direction of the Company was positioned for dominance for the next decade,” said Barrakc. ”I have known Marc Ganzi for over two decades and have admiringly watched his progression and success as an entrepreneur, visionary, and as the leading operator and investor in the digital world. He is an exceptional choice to lead our combined companies, investors, and employees as we accelerate, streamline, and cull other Colony business lines through sale or joint ventures and continue to reduce corporate costs.”

Barrack will focus on continue Colony’s plan of selling non-core assets, reducing G&A and growing investment management as the company works to dominate tech-related real estate investment.

Barrack said, “As our experiential world gives way to a new future – a data-driven world – real estate in its current format with long-dated contractual revenue streams from traditional tenants will have to change and adapt or face substantial obsolescence. Data-driven decisions, shared space utilization, ‘everything-as-a-service,’ new communications networks, and last-mile delivery systems, are examples of new technologies which will disintermediate everything in their paths. In fact, location, location, location is giving way to connect, connect, connect.

”This pivot presents a new investable frontier across the globe for those who are armed with the proper resources and experience.”

Colony’s acquisition of Digital Bridge follows the May 2019 closing of Digital Colony Partners, a $4.05 billion fund sponsored by Colony and Digital Bridge dedicated to global opportunities in digital infrastructure. The fund is the largest first-time institutional fund of this type.

Ganzi said, “Our combined vision will focus on the reality that ever-larger numbers of people will use ever more devices, and the true explosion of use, driven by interconnected devices, cloud computing, mobility, big data, the internet of things, and especially the 5G roll-out, is still to come. Together as the new Colony, we are excited to bring these opportunities to investors.”

Digital Bridge manages nearly $20 billion of digital infrastructure globally. Combined with Colony’s footprint, the merged firm will manage approximately $60 billion of assets.

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