Cox Communications to buy all of Unite Private Networks, combine it with Segra

May 16, 2023
Headquartered in Kansas City, MO, and founded in 1998, UPN offers dark and lit fiber, private line, optical Ethernet, internet access, FiberVoice, DDoS protection, Cloud Connect, SD-WAN, and other customized services.

Cox Communications says it has reached an agreement that will enable it to buy from Ridgemont Equity Partners the interest in Unite Private Networks (UPN) Cox doesn’t already own. The company did not disclose the financial terms of the transaction, which Cox expects will close by June 30, 2023, subject to customary regulatory approvals and closing conditions.

Once that close occurs, Cox will combine UPN with its other fiber-optic network services company, Segra (see “Cox Communications expands fiber play with purchase of Segra's commercial enterprise and carrier business”). Segra CEO Kevin Hart will retain that role in the combined company, while UPN CEO Jason Adkins will report to Hart as president.

Headquartered in Kansas City, MO, and founded in 1998, UPN offers dark and lit fiber, private line, optical Ethernet, internet access, FiberVoice, DDoS protection, Cloud Connect, SD-WAN, and other customized services to schools, governments, carriers, data centers, hospitals, and enterprise business customers. UPN currently serves more than 300 community markets across 21 states, with 12,000 fiber route miles of infrastructure that connect 9,500 end customer sites.

The deal is Cox’s latest move to increase its play in business services. Cox became the majority owner of UPN in 2016 (see "Cox buys into Unite Private Networks") and subsequently purchased Segra in April 2021 and managed cloud services provider Logicworks early this year.

“We will bring UPN and Segra together to create a new, standalone company that continues to offer our customers a broad portfolio of commercial business services,” said Cox Communications President Mark Greatrex. “I’d like to thank Ridgemont Equity Partners for their commitment, shared vision, and strategic insights. This partnership is a proof point of co-creating value and growth, and it’s a model we can continue to build upon in the future.”

“Unite Private Networks is a great example of Ridgemont creating value by aligning a leading management team in enterprise fiber, long-term private capital, and experienced board leadership,” added George Morgan, senior advisor, Ridgemont Equity Partners. “We also benefited from the strong strategic partnership with Cox Communications in 2016 to extend and enhance our original investment and create the market leader UPN is today.”

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About the Author

Stephen Hardy | Editorial Director and Associate Publisher, Lightwave

Stephen Hardy is editorial director and associate publisher of Lightwave and Broadband Technology Report, part of the Lighting & Technology Group at Endeavor Business Media. Stephen is responsible for establishing and executing editorial strategy across the both brands’ websites, email newsletters, events, and other information products. He has covered the fiber-optics space for more than 20 years, and communications and technology for more than 35 years. During his tenure, Lightwave has received awards from Folio: and the American Society of Business Press Editors (ASBPE) for editorial excellence. Prior to joining Lightwave in 1997, Stephen worked for Telecommunications magazine and the Journal of Electronic Defense.

Stephen has moderated panels at numerous events, including the Optica Executive Forum, ECOC, and SCTE Cable-Tec Expo. He also is program director for the Lightwave Innovation Reviews and the Diamond Technology Reviews.

He has written numerous articles in all aspects of optical communications and fiber-optic networks, including fiber to the home (FTTH), PON, optical components, DWDM, fiber cables, packet optical transport, optical transceivers, lasers, fiber optic testing, and more.

You can connect with Stephen on LinkedIn as well as Twitter.

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