Birch Refinances, Gets More Available Capital for M&A, Other Uses

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**Editor's Note: Please click here for a recap of the biggest channel-impacting mergers in Q2 2013.**

Birch Communications Inc. plans to pursue more M&A, and keep expanding its IP network and services portfolio, thanks to recent debt refinancing that gave the provider more available capital.

The Atlanta-based company on Wednesday announced the $25 million credit commitment from Bank of America, PNC, Wells Fargo and CoBank, as well as the addition of Union Bank to that lineup. Birch will use part of the money to pay off debt and fund some of the Lightyear Network Solutions assets it's buying.

“This refinancing is transformative," said Birch CFO Edward James in a press release. "We have increased our access to capital to take advantage of the numerous growth opportunities in front of us and we are significantly lowering our costs of borrowing."

CEO Vincent Oddo added that Birch will keep looking for more M&A opportunities, and building out its IP network and bolstering the company's product line.

The $25 million refinance comes a little more than a year after Birch secured up to $110 million in financing, and after another $12 million round earlier this year. Birch has used its coffers for strategies including the asset acquisition of Lightyear Network Solutions and Ernest Communications. The Ernest transaction closed in mid-September.

Birch, which started life as a traditional CLEC, has transformed itself into a provider of IP and managed services for SMBs, selling largely through the channel.

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