AboveNet Eyes Acquisitions

AboveNet Inc., a provider of high bandwidth connectivity solutions to businesses and carriers, is interested in acquisitions to grow the company, according to a report.

William LaPerch, the CEO of AboveNet, said the communications provider could support up to $600 million of debt for a compelling purchase but would want to reduce that level over time after an agreement, Reuters reported. As of June 30, 2011, AboveNet had available $96.4 million in cash and cash equivalents.

It wouldnt be out of the realm of reality for us to make an acquisition if there is a good strategic reason to do it and it makes good financial sense,” LaPerch told the news service.

Donna Jaegers, an analyst with D.A. Davidson, told Reuters that Sidera Networks might be one of AboveNets top targets for an acquisition. Sidera Networks, formerly known as RCN Metro Optical Networks, is a provider of high-capacity communications services to carrier and enterprise customers.

Over the summer, a New York Post report surfaced that a private equity firm had submitted an offer to acquire AboveNet, but AboveNet never announced reaching a deal.

White Plains, N.Y.-based AboveNet has been growing its operations organically versus acquisitions: In the second quarter, revenues climbed 17.5 percent over the year-ago quarter to $118.3 million. During the six months ending June 30, 2011, consolidated revenues increased to $232.7 million versus $197.9 million in the first six months of last year.

AboveNet provides high-bandwidth connectivity solutions to customers in 17 markets in the United States and four markets in Europe, including Amsterdam, Frankfurt, London and Paris. As of June 30, 2011, the company employed 708 people globally with most employees (616) based in the U.S.

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