Creates new platform for revenue growth and diversification for Crown

Provides WireIE with strengthened financial foundation to expand services and customer base

CALGARYJuly 15, 2019 

/CNW/ – Crown Capital Partners Inc. (“Crown” or the “Corporation”) (TSX: CRWN), a capital partner to entrepreneurs and growth businesses, today announced it has completed a transaction (the “Transaction”) to acquire WireIE Holdings International Inc. (“WireIE”), an Ontario-based network operator that specializes in the deployment and management of carrier-grade data networks across Canada and internationally to underserved communities.

Pursuant to the Transaction, Crown has acquired all the debt and equity of WireIE for a nominal amount on closing and a performance-based earn-out payment of up to $5 million. Crown had previously provided an income streaming facility to WireIE in July 2018 to support the company’s expansion. Crown has invested $7.6 million to date and will provide additional capital as required to fund future growth.

“WireIE generates high-quality, recurring cash flows through the development of carrier-grade data networks,” said Chris Johnson, President & CEO of Crown. “We’re delighted to expand our relationship with WireIE and welcome it to the Crown platform. The data network industry is rapidly growing and capital-intensive, and we view this industry as a new avenue for revenue growth and diversification for Crown, building on our special situations and power segments. In addition to direct investments such as WireIE, there is an opportunity to develop a third-party fund targeting this market.”

The WireIE executive team will remain in place to direct the continued growth of the company, led by its founder, President & CEO, Rob Barlow.

“Crown is a highly experienced, well-established specialty finance company, and this new ownership structure will enhance our ability to access capital to expand geographically, while continuing to deliver trusted, reliable, secure and certified networks to underserved enterprises and communities,” said Rob Barlow. “This is an exciting new chapter for WireIE.”

About WireIE

Founded in 2007, WireIE builds, owns, and operates the data networks for its blue-chip customers in the telecom carrier, oil and gas, utility, and government industries. WireIE’s core value proposition is to provide carriers with the ability to deliver high-quality network services to their commercial customers in underserved areas without having to build and manage circuits. WireIE has partnerships with Canada’s leading national carriers. The company’s services address a large and growing need, with U.S. and Canadian government legislation mandating high-speed broadband as an essential service.

About Crown Capital Partners (TSX:CRWN

Founded in 2000, Crown is a leading specialty finance company that provides growth capital to a diversified group of successful mid-market companies that are seeking alternatives to banks and private equity funds. Crown provides customized solutions in the form of loans, royalties, and other structures with minimal or no ownership dilution. In addition to deploying capital as a principal investor, Crown develops, manages and co-invests in alternative investment funds, including Crown Partners Fund and Crown Capital Power Fund.


This news release contains certain “forward looking statements” and certain “forward looking information” as defined under applicable Canadian and U.S. securities laws. Forward-looking statements can generally be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as “may”, “will”, “expect”, “intend”, “estimate”, “anticipate”, “believe”, “continue”, “plans” or similar terminology. Forward-looking statements are based on forecasts of future results, estimates of amounts not yet determinable and assumptions that while believed by management to be reasonable, are inherently subject to significant business, economic and competitive uncertainties and contingencies. Forward-looking statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties concerning the specific factors identified in the Crown’s periodic filings with Canadian securities regulators. See Crown’s most recent annual information form for a detailed discussion of the risk factors affecting Crown. In addition, Crown’s dividend policy will be reviewed from time to time in the context of the Corporation’s earnings, financial requirements for its operations, and other relevant factors and the declaration of a dividend will always be at the discretion of the board of directors of the Corporation. Crown undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking information except as required by applicable law. Such forward-looking information represents management’s best judgment based on information currently available. No forward-looking statement can be guaranteed and actual future results may vary materially. Accordingly, readers are advised not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements or information.

SOURCE Crown Capital Partners Inc.


WINNIPEG – December 13, 2018 – Mayors and Reeves from METRO municipalities surrounding Winnipeg moved another step closer to offering high-speed and fibre optic Internet service today, following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with two industry-leading strategic partners.

“Most municipalities surrounding Winnipeg don’t have access to reliable, future-ready Internet and communications services,” said Colleen Sklar, Executive Director of the Winnipeg METRO Region (WMR), an organization recently tasked by the Province to deliver economic development funding and programming throughout the Region. “There are many opportunities to connect communities to the digital economy and, once complete, this Project will help the WMR make an even larger economic impact.”

The MOU was signed today by JohnQ Public Inc., the WMR’s economic development corporation, and two well established local and national Internet service providers – WireIE and RFNOW Inc. The regional fibre optic project – Connecting to Opportunity – is a prime example of how JohnQ works and what the WMR can accomplish through this new collaborative business model.

“Business owners, industry and residents all rank high-speed services as their top priority,” said Reeve Brad Erb of Macdonald, Chair of the JohnQ Board. “Bringing the right partners to the table is the critical next step to building a cost-effective, sustainable and competitive broadband network that will allow the Region to attract good companies and good jobs while also servicing the needs of residents.”

Next steps in the process between the strategic partners include:

  • Finalizing the business model;
  • Completing the design of the network;
  • Negotiating with other stakeholders;
  • Developing and recommending the final broadband service offerings for end users; and,
  • Developing and recommending an open access model for 3rd party ISPs to promote

“WireIE is excited to help design and implement a carrier-grade broadband network,” said Rob Barlow, President & CEO. “WireIE overcomes constraints around geography, time and budget, to break through barriers that traditional legacy networks can’t address. We will meet and exceed latency, bandwidth and service assurance requirements with our partners.”

Based in Virden, Manitoba, RFNOW Inc. has a depth of knowledge and experience working with under-served communities like those in the WMR. “Given our large infrastructure, network and training program, we are confident in our ability to help the Winnipeg METRO Region hit the ground running,” said Chris Kennedy, COO of RFNOW.

Through JohnQ, the development of high-speed Internet infrastructure is being explored for 43 under-serviced communities in the 13 member municipalities in the METRO region surrounding Winnipeg. Many are shovel ready which means construction could commence as early as mid-May 2019.

Ray Bouchard, President & CEO of Enns Brothers Ltd. and Chair of Enterprise Machine Intelligence & Learning Initiative (EMILI) offers his congratulations to the Winnipeg METRO Region. “This is an important step in advancing more productive and sustainable agriculture in the region,” he said. “Farm operations, businesses and residents need consistent access to high-speed Internet to implement the kinds of intelligent technologies that will inform and accelerate the agriculture sector and the Manitoba economy.”


For more information, see backgrounder attached.

Related Links:

Media Contacts:

Rob Barlow, President & CEO – WireIE (Development) Inc.
Telephone: 1.905.882.4660 | E-mail:

Colleen Sklar – JohnQ Public Inc.
Telephone: 1.204.781.7346 | Email:

Chris Kennedy, Chief Operating Officer –  RFNOW  Inc.
Telephone 1.204.748.4842 | E-mail:


Toronto, Canada – 15 May 2018  One of Canada’s premier wholesale network operators today announced a new partnership designed to significantly enhance and improve broadband services for Indigenous communities across the country.

WireIE, the nation’s industry leader in delivering high availability and secure data over networks in rural and remote regions, is teaming up with Frontline 360 Inc. to be the exclusive distributor of the company’s Internet Protocol TV (IPTV) platform for Indigenous communities and wholesale customers.

“This exciting new partnership enables us to offer Indigenous communities and service providers an enhanced Triple Play Bundle consisting of IPTV, IP telephony and broadband internet – all over a single connection,” said Rob Barlow, CEO of WireIE. “It allows us to further build upon our mission to make tangible and direct improvements to broadband services in underserved markets and to empower Indigenous communities to take full advantage of our digital economy.”

WireIE specializes in the deployment of MEF-Certified Carrier Ethernet networks to Canada’s underserved markets and has unique expertise in owning and operating Ethernet Networks for the carrier, oil and gas, utilities, healthcare and government industries.

“The deficient and subpar network access currently offered in many rural and remote communities has a profoundly negative effect on their ability to compete in the 21st century digital economy,” added Barlow. “That’s why for more than 10 years now, WireIE has been working with Indigenous communities to lay the backbone, high-speed broadband infrastructure that is required for value-added services like IPTV.”

The Frontline-powered IPTV platform will now be a part of WireIE’s broadband solution and is set to increase opportunities for local economic development in underserved markets.

“Our IPTV platform is a leading, best-in-class solution that provides end-users with reliable and inter-active access to the streaming content they enjoy,” said Hoss Astaraki, President of Frontline 360 Inc. “We are proud to provide WireIE with a complete solution that will enable them to shape their ecosystem, empowering local service providers to offer value-added services to their end-users.”

WireIE is currently deploying Frontline’s IPTV platform with K-Net Services (a division of Keewaytinook Okimakanak Northern Chiefs Council), a First Nations owned and operated telecommunications provider and internet service provider (ISP) in Sioux Lookout, Ontario.

“We are excited to leverage the new IPTV platform for our Indigenous customers in Northern Ontario,” said Geordi Kakepetum, Chief Executive Director of Keewaytinook Okimakanak. “In communities with broadband access, many of our customers are beginning to move away from traditional landlines, utilizing mobile devices to access streaming content. Thanks to our partnership with WireIE, we will be able to provide them with more choice and flexibility.”

Following the successful rollout of today’s announcement, WireIE will pursue further partnerships with other Indigenous ISPs and communities.

Toronto, Canada – March 7, 2018 – WireIE, a Canadian wholesale network operator specialized in the deployment of MEF-Certified Carrier Ethernet networks to Canada’s underserved markets, is partnering with W Dusk Group, an Indigenous-owned technology company, to deliver environmentally-friendly, enhanced fiber network solutions to underserved Canadian enterprises and communities.

Underserved communities in Canada often face a situation of poor (or no) Internet coverage, which is exacerbated by a lack of reliable electrical energy. Through this first-of-its-kind partnership in Canada, the two companies will work with these communities, including First Nations, to mesh alternative energy technology with WireIE’s high-availability network solutions. The goal is to ensure individuals living and working in underserved areas avoid unplanned, costly downtime.

“For over 10 years, WireIE has been connecting Canada’s underserved markets with high-quality, robust, secure networks at a lower cost than traditional build outs,” says Rob Barlow, CEO of WireIE. “By partnering with W Dusk Group, we are ensuring that we can deliver green internet, increased uptime and enhanced service assurance to our partners in underserved areas. We are proud to be leaders in meeting Canadians’ demands for renewably-powered digital infrastructure.”

“Our core passion is providing our underserved partners with the energy solutions and connectivity they need to take full advantage of our digital age,” says David Isaac, CEO of W Dusk Energy Group. “As a Canadian Indigenous-owned firm, we employ local community resources wherever possible to undertake the last-mile management, planning and technology integration services needed for our clients to enjoy internet access in a sustainable way.”

Internet access has been formally recognized by the Canadian Radio and Television Corporation (CRTC) as an important tool for fostering economic development in areas that are not served by Canada’s major telecom carriers. WireIE is strengthening its legacy of providing the low latency and reliability needed to support the socio-economic development of businesses and communities in remote environments.

CEO Rob Barlow Shares Direction for 2018 with Jaymie Scotto Cutaia

At PTC’18, one of the most important telecommunications events for the Pacific Rim, our CEO, Rob Barlow, met up with JSA TV’s Jaymie Scotto Cutaia to discuss the company’s latest developments and where it is headed for the rest of 2018.

Overall, throughout 2017, WireIE experienced continuous growth providing leading-class high-speed network solutions in underserved markets in Canada and around the world. We bolstered our reputation as an expert in underserved connectivity by consistently exceeding our network performance and reliability objectives throughout the year.

For 2018, we are maintaining our focus on making it possible for individuals and enterprises in underserved areas to take full advantage of the digital economy. By using both fiber and microwave technologies in the delivery of high-availability networks, we are a partner of choice for industry and governments in need of reliable, secure connectivity for their mission-critical applications. WireIE prides itself on its ability to extend carrier networks to remote and hard to reach locations, bringing the metropolitan broadband experience to the underserved and promoting regional economic development.

To keep abreast of new developments, follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn!

Canada’s defence sector faces unique threats and challenges. From the growing number of cyber-attacks on the federal government to the country’s vast underserved regions, mission-critical government services across the country require networks with unparalleled resilience, availability and security.  As a wholesale network operator specialized in the deployment of MEF Certified Carrier Ethernet networks, WireIE is the provider of choice for mission-critical underserved network requirements.

In 2007, Rob Barlow created WireIE because he saw a gap in bringing high-availability network services to underserved markets where government assets and large enterprises need to function with the speed and reliability of those in major Canadian cities. The company addresses this need by working with its partners to deliver networks with unparalleled availability and ultra-low latency to enterprises and government installations of all sizes across Canada’s underserved regions.  WireIE’s MEF Certified Ethernet 2.0 certification gives its customers performance assurance that their applications and network data will run without interruption and to the highest standards of performance.

In 2016, WireIE worked with Tier 1 Canadian partners to replace the legacy service at a major NAV Canada radar station on Mt. Wallensteen, located 20 kilometres west of Salmon Arm, British Columbia. WireIE was the partner of choice since the station site is located two kilometers above the nearby community and is inaccessible during the harsh winter months. As a result, it was uneconomical to complete the upgrades using fiber technology. Even though the site could only be accessed via helicopter, WireIE successfully completed the installation of 10Mbps Ethernet service, exceeding the client’s expectations. The new network infrastructure provides the station with the redundancy and reliability necessary to ensure safe plane-to-ground voice communication for the many trans-Pacific flights coming into Canada on a daily basis.

This year, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) reported that the federal government faces serious cyber-attacks on a daily basis. As the capabilities of state-sponsored hackers and terrorist groups increase, secure networks for government assets in underserved regions become a high priority. The reliable and trusted service that WireIE delivers can be used for all types of assets that are crucial to the security of Canadians. Already working on behalf of fourteen government departments, WireIE is excited to offer its innovative, best-in-class services in support of the Canadian defence sector’s needs.  For more information on WireIE’s services, visit their resource centre here.

Cybersecurity is an issue that can affect us all, but did you know that it’s impacting the oil and gas industry as well? The truth is, most oil and gas companies have already experienced a security breach to their system. In the past year alone, nearly 70 percent of oil and gas organizations have endured security compromises, resulting in exposed confidential information and disrupted operational technology. What’s worse, nearly 46 percent of all cyber-attacks in the OT environment go undetected. With the oil and gas industry in need of a robust cybersecurity solution, WireIE introduced its Nomadic Enhanced Fiber which is an MEF CE 2.0 Certified Carrier Grade Network.

Recognized by multiple award programs for its quality, reliability and innovation, WireIE’s MEF Certified Network has become essential in providing solutions to the unique challenges faced by the oil and gas industry today. WireIE’s private oilfield network supports real-time commercial applications in challenging geographic environments where satellite and cellular simply cannot, eliminating network vulnerability. By providing comprehensive managed services that are tailored and integrated with characteristics of oil and gas operations, WireIE has created solutions to support existing, new and emerging demands as they evolve, leaving limited availability for hackers to breach the network.

So, how does WireIE turn the promise of the digital oilfield into a reality? WireIE specializes in building and operating next-generation network infrastructures needed to support key real-time commercial applications for businesses operating in remote and challenging geographies, such as regions in South America. By using skilled local field technicians, WireIE provides its partners with the overall expertise to configure and deploy the digital infrastructure necessary to keep critical data secure.

For the first time, the whole enterprise – from the head office, to the extraction sites, to various remote field locations – can drive optimum productivity, efficiency and safety throughout the digital oilfield. Companies can now confidently deploy essential data and applications which can be utilized and supported by an infrastructure that operates with speed, security and consistency, and which is underwritten by a contractually assured level of service.

WireIE is unique, and with its digital oilfield solution, the oil and gas industry can now rest easy knowing that their networks are secure and that they can benefit from safer operations. No other company does more than WireIE to ensure access to your strategically critical data, wherever your operations may be.

To find out more about WireIE’s state-of-the-art, SLA backed, digital oilfield solution, contact today.

On March 8, 2017, our CEO Rob Barlow joined fellow British and American crewmembers of the EH01 Performance Yacht Racing team in winning second place in the CSA1 class of the 37th Annual St. Maarten Heineken Regatta. As a mast man, Rob hoisted the sails and worked the jib pole on the bow – a thrilling and active position.

The Regatta offers four days of racing through north-easterly trade winds with an average temperature of 25°C and crystal clear waters. Boats from thirty-seven countries competed in this year’s event. The course was beautiful, taking the team past the breathtaking beaches and rock formations of the island. On shore, they enjoyed the culture, cuisine and music from both the Dutch and French side. It was clear how much planning, effort and energy the hardworking Regatta staff and local community put into the event.

The team definitely appreciated the efforts of the Regatta organizers to strengthen the community through art, environmental protection and sailing. For example, the Regatta Art Competition for primary and high school students promotes awareness of the thriving talent within the community. Additionally, the Regatta participates in the Clean Regatta Program of Sailors for the Sea, a conservation organization. As a result, the event employs a paperless registration process, uses biodegradable products where possible, and offers public transportation to various celebrations in St. Maarten.  Among other initiatives, Regatta participants can donate to the St. Maarten Yacht Club Youth Sailing program, which gives lessons to local youth and adults.

This year’s event was dynamic and one of the best-run events the team had the pleasure of attending. Our CEO is proud to support events like this in the Caribbean since the company has been doing business there from its inception. WireIE also has a history of supporting the St. Maarten and wider Caribbean business communities, partnering with them to help build out their infrastructure. For example, WireIE recently donated computers to satisfy the needs of growing technology-aided learning programs in both St Maarten and Grenada.

Thank you to the race committee, which works year-round to organize this, and the entire EH01 racing crew.  We are looking forward to seeing Rob participate in the event again next year.

TORONTO, ON–(May 25, 2017) – WireIE, a wholesale network operator specialized in the deployment of MEF-Certified Carrier Ethernet networks to Canada’s underserved markets, continues to expand its digital oil and gas telecommunications network management expertise in South America.

WireIE is operating in the Argentinian Bajada de Anelo gas shale field within the larger Vaca Muerta area. Using skilled local field technicians, WireIE is providing its partners with the overall expertise to configure and deploy the digital infrastructure necessary for project success.

“WireIE has been incredibly successful in providing integrated, reliable and secure networks for oil and gas fields in Canada’s underserved regions,” says Rob Barlow, President and Chief Executive Officer of WireIE. “We continue to prove that our model can be applied to challenging regions anywhere because our core set of capabilities has a high degree of flexibility and adaptability.”

“We specialize in finding solutions for challenging telecommunications situations like the Bajada de Anelo shale fields,” says Jon D’Alessandro, WireIE’s Executive Vice President of Network and Operations. “Through our Day 2 support service, we provide our partners in Argentina and elsewhere in South America with continuous and integrated connectivity from their corporate headquarters to their exploratory and production oil fields.”

WireIE’s Day 2 service targets oil and gas producers who operate in increasingly remote and challenging locations, where it is difficult to staff project sites with skilled workers. Keeping the communications network up and running in the field can save companies thousands of dollars a day. As the responsible authority for its clients on the digital aspects of project, problem and incident management, WireIE lowers the risk of unplanned downtime and allows for greater efficiency in production.

“We are pleased to see Canadian companies like WireIE pursue an active presence in Argentina’s energy sector,” says Eleonore Rupprecht, Trade Commissioner with Global Affairs Canada. “Argentina is one of Canada’s largest trading partners in South America and Canadian businesses recognize the potential for increased trade with Argentina.”

Having calculated a need for a total long-term investment of US $200 billion to reverse its sustained energy crisis, the Argentinian government is encouraging foreign investment in its Vaca Muerta shale fields.

TORONTO, ON – November 15, 2016 – WireIE, a wholesale network operator specialized in the deployment of MEF-Certified Carrier Ethernet networks to Canada’s underserved markets, has been honored with the Capacity Global Carrier Awards’ Best North American Project. WireIE received the award for its unique nomadic solution, which combines innovative technology and management processes to address the need for MEF-certified, carrier-grade Ethernet in underserved markets internationally.

WireIE is known for being a leading partner to Canadian carriers, helping them migrate off of the legacy technology commonly found in underserved, hard to reach regions of Canada.  Large enterprises in these underserved geographies, whether in Canada or abroad, often face challenges when trying to leverage connectivity due to legacy technology or a lack of technology all together.

WireIE delivers high-quality network services in order to assist enterprise verticals, such as oil and gas, and telecom service providers in delivering mission critical business applications in these previously underserved regions.   WireIE’s solutions make the use of critical, real-time applications for voice and data possible, which eliminates the communications divide between office and the field. Companies utilizing WireIE’s nomadic solution experience enhanced efficiency, lower costs and the ability to leverage opportunities that were previously not attainable.

“WireIE strives to connect the unconnected located in regions previously lacking in reliable, high quality connectivity,” states Rob Barlow, CEO and President of WireIE. “It is an honor to be recognized not only for our nomadic solution, but for our greater goal of creating a more connected world and enabling our carrier partners to future-proof their networks.”

The Capacity Global Carrier Awards recognize companies’ innovation, excellence and vision, setting the benchmark for performance throughout the global wholesale telecoms marketplace. The program has grown to be recognized as the largest and most prestigious awards in the wholesale telecom industry. This year a record number of over 200 entries were submitted and the winners were determined by a panel of 20 judges comprised of leading analysts, industry experts and Capacity Media’s senior editorial team. The winners were announced at the 11th Global Carrier Awards 2016 on Tuesday, November 8 in Paris, France.