Lightower Fiber Networks, a leading provider of custom, high-capacity network services that ensure optimal application and business performance, and Fibertech Networks, a leading provider of fiber-optic based network services throughout mid-size cities in the Eastern and Central regions of the United States, today announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement to merge. The agreement is an all-cash transaction valued at $1.9 billion, which will be funded through a combination of equity and debt. Lightower’s existing financial backers, Berkshire Partners, Pamlico Capital and ABRY Partners, will each provide additional equity to support the transaction. The combined company will be led by current Lightower CEO, Rob Shanahan. The merger is pending regulatory approvals and is expected to close in the third quarter of 2015.
“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,” stated Rob Shanahan, CEO of Lightower. “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.”
The combined company will own and operate a high-performance, fiber-based network throughout the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and Midwest. The company will offer customers over 30,000 route miles of fiber network providing access to nearly 5,000 wireless towers and almost 13,000 on-net service locations, including commercial buildings, data centers, financial exchanges, content hubs and other critical communications facilities.
“This merger between our two high growth companies is a very positive development for both organizations, both customer bases and both sets of employees,” said John Purcell, CEO of Fibertech. “Bringing together these two talented teams under an integrated leadership group will be a great cultural fit, while also broadening opportunities and career growth for employees.”
“We are excited about Lightower and Fibertech coming together. Both companies operate outstanding networks with distinct and complementary footprints, making this a natural fit,” 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.”