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Lightower to Buy Rival Fibertech for Nearly $2 Billion

**Editor’s Note: Please click here for a recap of the biggest channel-impacting mergers in Q1 2015.**

Lightower Fiber Networks announced its second acquisition in as many months on Monday — and this is a big one.

The company said it will buy Rochester, New York-based Fibertech Networks for $1.9 billion.

The soon-to-be-former competitors have complementary networks. Both serve customers in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and Midwest regions. They offer fiber-based services that include Ethernet, dark fiber, wavelengths, Internet access, private networks and colocation. They also offer services for specific industries that include financial, health care, government and education. Furthermore, cloud services and data-center capacity are available.

The deal still needs regulatory approval and is scheduled to close in the third quarter. Lightower’s existing investors – Berkshire Partners, Pamlico Capital and ABRY Partners– will each provide additional equity to support the transaction.

“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,” said Rob Shanahan, CEO of Boxborough, Massachusetts-based 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 offer customers more than 30,000 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.”

Lightower announced its acquisition of ColocationZone – an enterprise-class data center provider in Chicago – just last month.

The Lightower partner program consists of agents, VARs, consultants, integrators, wholesalers and more. They can sell the full suite of Lightower products and services, including regional network density, commercial building and data center access.

Follow senior online managing editor Craig Galbraith on Twitter.


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