ZONE, ANPI Get Shareholder Approval for Merger, Will Become ANZ Communications

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Reseller ZONE Telecom Inc. and wholesaler Associated Network Partners Inc. (ANPI) have received shareholder approvals for their pending 50-50 merger, the value of which was not disclosed.

The new, combined company will be named ANZ Communications LLC, but will continue to sell under the ZONE and ANPI brands. Channel partners for ZONE should expect few changes as a result of the transaction.

When complete, the deal will join Zone Telecom’s multicarrier voice, data and VoIP services for enterprise and wholesale customers, and ANPI’s network assets and wholesale user base. The merged organization will serve 1,300 enterprise and nearly 800 wholesale customers. Together, they boasted about $180 million in annual revenue last year.

“The new entity will be well-positioned to capitalize on opportunities to capture a larger share in the national telecom market in the U.S.," said Richard Siemens, chairman of ZONE’s parent company, e-Kong, in a prepared statement. “In the next few years, ANZ is expected to realize substantial synergistic and growth values which will potentially enhance enterprise value by significant multiples."

For agents, that means a sharper focus on selling wholesale products, ZONE told PHONE+ in October when the merger was announced. Most importantly, ZONE agents will have more products to sell and Web tools to use. ZONE serves about 100 agents; most of them sell enterprise services. ANPI has just a few, select agents.

ANPI maintains a nationwide OC192 ring with aggregation points in Chicago, Dallas, Las Vegas and Los Angeles; those points interconnect to wholesale customers. The OC192 backbone interconnects 7609 routers to form the core of the routed IP network and to provide private-line services. In addition, Sonus GSX-9000 switches in Chicago and Las Vegas provide wholesale switch and tandem services. ANPI recently completed the relocation of its NOC from Springfield to Frisco, Texas.

Zone also maintains its own facilities in California and uses shared facilities in the Northeast. 

ZONE is based in Cherry Hill, N.J.; ANPI is headquartered in Springfield, Ill. David Lewis, former CEO of ANPI, will become CEO of ANZ. Daniel Boynton, CEO of ZONE, will serve as president of ANZ.

ZONE and ANPI did not say when they expect the merger to close.

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