UPDATE: Berkshire Partners to Merge Lightower, Sidera Networks in $2B Deal
Lightower Fiber Networks, the premier metro fiber and bandwidth provider in the Northeast, and Sidera Networks, the leading provider of tailored, high-capacity communications services to large enterprise, carrier and data center customers, announced that they have 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 and Pamlico Capital acquired Lightower from National Grid plc in August 2007. Pamlico Capital, a significant Lightower investor, and ABRY Partners, a significant Sidera investor, will remain as investors in the new company. The combined company will be led by current Lightower CEO, Rob Shanahan. The merger is pending regulatory approval 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 team supporting it," stated Rob Shanahan, CEO of Lightower. "Both companies have a shared vision of network excellence, customized solutions and superior customer support. Once merged, we will offer customers more services, more routes and more access options with the same high levels of performance, diversity, reliability and support that our customers have come to expect from us." Following the merger, the combined company will operate a high-performance, fiber-based network throughout the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and Midwest, with connections to critical landing sites and exchanges internationally. The combined network will offer customers over 20,000 route miles and provide access to more than 6,000 on-net locations, including commercial buildings, data centers, financial exchanges, content hubs and other critical interconnection facilities. "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 shared passion for customer service and satisfaction will set the new company 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 the telecommunications infrastructure space for nearly 20 years and believe that the combined company, with its incredibly robust network, is well positioned for continued growth serving customers with an ever-increasing need for high-performance bandwidth." More Customer Options with More Routes and More Access The merger of the two networks accelerates the strategies of both companies to provide best-in-class, fiber-based networking solutions to enterprise, carrier and government customers. The combined company will provide customers with enhanced access to a unique, diverse and dense high-performance network that can serve the most demanding application requirements. The combined network will have both a larger footprint and greater density throughout the Northeast, Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions, while dramatically increasing the number of data centers, financial exchanges and interconnection facilities that are served with fiber-based access. Lightower and Sidera both currently offer fiber-based networking solutions comprised of Ethernet, dark fiber, wavelengths, Internet access, private networks and colocation services. Both companies also offer industry-specific solutions such as ultra-low latency connections for financial services firms, video transport for media companies, wireless backhaul for wireless operators, as well as diverse cloud, content and data center connectivity. Additional terms of the deal were not disclosed.
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