UPDATE: Berkshire Partners to Merge Lightower, Sidera Networks in $2B DealPaul QuintaroBenzinga
Lightower Fiber Networks, the premier metro fiber and bandwidthprovider in the Northeast, and Sidera Networks, the leading providerof tailored, high-capacity communications services to largeenterprise, carrier and data center customers, announced that theyhave signed a definitive agreement for a transaction valued at over$2 billion led by Berkshire Partners, a Boston-based investment firm,and management, to acquire and merge both companies. M/C Partners andPamlico Capital acquired Lightower from National Grid plc in August2007. Pamlico Capital, a significant Lightower investor, and ABRYPartners, a significant Sidera investor, will remain as investors inthe new company. The combined company will be led by currentLightower CEO, Rob Shanahan. The merger is pending regulatoryapproval and is expected to close in the second quarter of 2013."Lightower and Sidera together will offer customers an industry-leading, fiber-based network with a deeply experienced teamsupporting it," stated Rob Shanahan, CEO of Lightower. "Bothcompanies have a shared vision of network excellence, customizedsolutions and superior customer support. Once merged, we will offercustomers more services, more routes and more access options with thesame high levels of performance, diversity, reliability and supportthat our customers have come to expect from us."Following the merger, the combined company will operate ahigh-performance, fiber-based network throughout the Northeast,Mid-Atlantic and Midwest, with connections to critical landing sitesand exchanges internationally. The combined network will offercustomers over 20,000 route miles and provide access to more than6,000 on-net locations, including commercial buildings, data centers,financial exchanges, content hubs and other critical interconnectionfacilities."This combination is highly complementary," commented Mike Sicoli, CEO of Sidera. "The broad reach and scale of our combined network,the cumulative expertise of our dedicated employees and our sharedpassion for customer service and satisfaction will set the newcompany apart and deliver tangible benefits to our customers.""Berkshire is excited to be working with both Lightower and Sidera --two great companies and two great teams," explained Randy Peeler,Managing Director of Berkshire. "We have invested in thetelecommunications infrastructure space for nearly 20 years andbelieve that the combined company, with its incredibly robustnetwork, is well positioned for continued growth serving customerswith an ever-increasing need for high-performance bandwidth."More Customer Options with More Routes and More AccessThe merger of the two networks accelerates the strategies of bothcompanies to provide best-in-class, fiber-based networking solutionsto enterprise, carrier and government customers. The combined company will provide customers with enhanced access to a unique, diverse anddense high-performance network that can serve the most demandingapplication requirements. The combined network will have both alarger footprint and greater density throughout the Northeast,Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions, while dramatically increasing thenumber of data centers, financial exchanges and interconnectionfacilities that are served with fiber-based access.Lightower and Sidera both currently offer fiber-based networkingsolutions comprised of Ethernet, dark fiber, wavelengths, Internetaccess, private networks and colocation services. Both companies alsooffer industry-specific solutions such as ultra-low latencyconnections for financial services firms, video transport for mediacompanies, wireless backhaul for wireless operators, as well asdiverse cloud, content and data center connectivity.Additional terms of the deal were not disclosed.(c) 2012 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.