Handshake

The newest large broadband service provider Brightspeed is implementing a plan, the Shared Success Plan, under which employees would benefit from any future transaction that includes a change of control of the company.

Employees with at least a year with the company will receive a one-time payment “at the time of a future change of control” based on how much the value of the company has increased, according to an announcement from Brightspeed today.

What the company refers to as its Shared Success Plan will be funded by Brightspeed’s majority shareholders, private equity funds managed by affiliates of Apollo and their co-investors. It will extend to salaried or hourly workers regardless if they are unionized or not. 

“At Brightspeed, we know we cannot achieve long-term growth without our talented team, whose dedication and commitment to serving customers is a characteristic that already defines our culture,” Brightspeed CEO Bob Mudge said in a press release. “With the support of Apollo, we are not only building a transformative fiber optics network, but we are also building a different type of company. Following our official launch, we have a unique opportunity to solidify our commitment to invest in our people by creating a means for everyone to share in the value we generate together.”

Birth of Brightspeed

Lumen’s sale of local exchange carrier (ILEC) operations in 20 states in the midwest and southeast, which led to the formation of Brightspeed, closed early last month. The deal – which was announced in August 2021 – included a selling price of $7.5 billion and Brightspeed’s assumption of $1.4 billion in Lumen debt. Lumen held onto ILEC operations in 16 states.

During the months between the initial announcement and the finalization of the sale, Brightspeed systematically detailed its plans. The company said it would use XGS-PON architectures to offer gigabit-plus services and Wi-Fi 6 to upgrade and expand the networks that it was acquiring from Lumen.

The announcements focused on 17 states: New Jersey, Indiana, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, South Carolina, Arkansas, North Carolina, Virginia, Texas, Alabama, Ohio, Louisiana, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Tennessee.

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