Lightower Fiber Networks, Fibertech Networks seek merger

Fiber-optic network services providers Lightower Fiber Networks and Fibertech Networks have announced their plans to merge. Lightower will buy privately held Fibertech for $1.9 million in cash, with an expected closing date of the third quarter of this year.

Fiber-optic network services providers Lightower Fiber Networks and Fibertech Networks have announced their plans to merge. Lightower will buy privately held Fibertech for $1.9 million in cash, with an expected closing date of the third quarter of this year.

Lightower will use a combination of equity and debt to fund the transaction. Existing Lightower investors Berkshire Partners, Pamlico Capital, and ABRY Partners have pledged additional equity in support of the deal.

Current Lightower CEO Rob Shanahan will serve in the same role of the combined companies.

The two companies offer similar service portfolios that include Ethernet, dark fiber, wavelengths, Internet access, private networks and colocation services. Their customer bases also are similar. Lightower focuses primarily on the U.S. Northeast, while Fibertech serves customers in the Eastern and Central regions of the country. The merged company therefore will be able to provide its customers with connectivity to an extended footprint, according to Shanahan. That includes combined infrastructure of over 30,000 route miles of fiber cable that will provide access to nearly 5,000 wireless towers and almost 13,000 on-net service locations.

"The combination of Lightower and Fibertech is a win for customers by enabling us to serve more locations, across a wider area, and with more service options – all with the same superior level of reliability and customer support," Shanahan explained. "Lightower and Fibertech have built distinct networks in their respective regions that will be very complementary when merged. In addition, we plan to continue to invest capital in these regions for additional network expansion."

Lightower has been steadily growing its business through mergers and acquisitions for several years. It's most recent purchase is ColocationZone in Chicago (see "Lightower acquires Chicago’s ColocationZone"). Other deals have seen the company acquire or merge with Open Access Inc., Veroxity Technology Partners, Lexent Metro Connect, and Sidera Networks.

For more information on high-speed transmission systems and suppliers, visit the Lightwave Buyer's Guide.

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