Platinum Equity Gobbles Up Another Telecom Provider

Platinum Equity said Wednesday it has acquired Startec Global Communications for an undisclosed amount.

Startec is a facilities-based provider headquartered in Maryland. It sells long-distance services to ethnic markets in the United States and Canada; in fact, the company just launched new Web sites in Russian and Spanish. Startec distributes through channel partners.

Startec was owned by Allied Capital Corp., which last month settled with the Securities and Exchange Commission over a recordkeeping dispute.

Platinum Equity is a privately held M&A firm in Beverly Hills, Calif. It buys companies generally struggling ones in a variety of sectors, not just telecom. Its communications holdings include Americatel, Matrix Telecom and Trinsic Inc.

Tomas Perez, president of Americatel, will retain that title while also taking over as CEO and president of Startec. He replaces Howard Kamerer, who resigned to be closer to family.

Such personnel changes are common after a company such as Platinum Equity buys a business. To wit, Platinum recently purchased bankrupt Trinsic and axed most of the executive staff.

Platinum Equity plans to combine Americatel and Startec operations.

These are two very similar businesses that provide vital connections between ethnic customers in the United States and their home-country communities around the world, said Perez.

Startec primarily targets immigrants from India, the Philippines and Eastern Europe, while Americatel focuses on subscribers from Latin America.

Houlihan Lokey served as exclusive financial advisor to Startec. The transaction officially closed on July 12.

Allied Capital Corp.
Houlihan Lokey
Platinum Equity
Startec Global Communications

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