2016 will go down as the year of M&A for companies that do business in the channel.
We posed in our last recap that September-October was one of the biggest two-month periods for telecom-IT acquisitions we’d ever seen — something we said for the prior two months as well! Well, we can say unequivocally that the last two months of the year topped both of those.
Windstream confirmed rumors that it’s buying EarthLink. Verizon announced the sale of its data-center business to Equinix and got FCC approval for its purchase of XO’s fiber biz. Like Verizon, CenturyLink sold its data centers and agreed to buy Level 3! Zayo joined that multibillion-dollar deal club by buying Electric-Lightwave/Integra.
Deals that would normally be big news probably didn’t get your attention, overshadowed by these mega acquisitions.
We’ve got it all covered in this one-stop shop. Click through to see who bought whom, and how channel businesses are likely to be affected.
The Colorado-based company will be able to reach more SMB customers with a broader set of network and service capabilities when it becomes part of CenturyLink, noted Level 3 CFO Sunit Patel, during an investor conference in November.
CenturyLink was quite the wheeler and dealer at the end of the year.
Not resting on its Level 3 laurels, ending months of speculation, the company announced it would sell its data centers and colocation business to BC Partners, in a consortium that includes Medina Capital Advisors and Longview Asset Management, for $2.15 billion in cash. CenturyLink will get a minority stake valued at $150 million in the consortium’s new global secure infrastructure company. The telco’s data-center portfolio includes about 195 megawatts of power across 2.6 million square feet of raised floor capacity.
Get further details on the deal.
CenturyLink wasn’t the only big name unloading its data centers — nearly two years after saying it was looking for a buyer, Verizon agreed to sell its data-center business.
Equinix is paying the carrier $3.6 billion. The purchase gaives Equinix 29 data-center buildings in 15 metro areas and helps increase the company’s footprint in the U.S. and Latin America. The purchase adds to Equinix’s boast of having highly “interconnected” data centers for their enterprise customers. Equinix President Karl Strohmeyer called it a win for his customers, who can now access new locations and partners.
Get the details on the arrangement between Equinix and Verizon.
And more from Verizon …
The Federal Communications Commission approved the carrier’s pending $1.8 billion purchase of XO Communications’ fiber-optic network business, set to close in the first half of the year. In a Nov. 16 memorandum opinion and order, the FCC said approval of the transaction “will serve the public interest, convenience and necessity.” The approval came 170 days into the commission’s 180-day review of the deal.
Read more about the approval.
Verizon can put yet another acquisition in the rearview mirror.
The company completed its $2.4 billion purchase of Fleetmatics Group, the Ireland-based company with North American HQ in Waltham, Massachusetts. It’s now part of the Verizon Telematics business, which gives wireless, software and hardware solutions to consumers, enterprises and automakers for connected-vehicle products.
Read Verizon’s announcement about the acquisition.
The rumored merger of Windstream and EarthLink was confirmed with news of a $1.1 billion deal.
The combination will result in an extensive national footprint spanning approximately 145,000 fiber route miles and provide advanced network connectivity, managed services, voice, internet and other value-added services, the companies said. Customers will also benefit from combining Windstream’s scale in the enterprise segment and EarthLink’s successful launch of SD-WAN, the former said.
Learn more about the impact Windstream’s purchase of EarthLink will have.
Vancouver, Washington-based Electric Lightwave is the largest regional, fiber-based provider in the western United States, serving more than 5,400 large enterprise customers, wholesale carriers, web content providers, government organizations and educational institutions.
Read more about the impact of the acquisition.
While Broadcom’s intent is to acquire all of Brocade’s business, the company announced plans to divest of Brocade’s IP networking business, which includes an end-to-end portfolio of wireless and campus networking, data-center switching and routing, and software-networking solutions that span from the network edge to the data center.
Check out our full story on the acquisition.
Ingram Micro announced the closing of the $6 billion acquisition by Tianjin Tianhai Investment Company, set in motion in February. Ingram Micro is officially a part of the HNA Group.
Ingram Micro, a $43 billion company prior to the acquisition, is now part of a $100 billion company. The distributor will remain in its Irvine, California, headquarters led by current CEO Alan Monié. Monié said that the acquisition wouldn’t change the distributor-partner relationship. Rather, he noted that it would better position Ingram to invest faster and take more risks.
The deal gives Consolidated access to North Carolina-based FairPoint’s East Coast footprint. Consolidated is based in Illinois. Bob Udell will serve as president and CEO of the merged company, which will maintain Consolidated Communications’ name.
Read more about the deal.
Microsoft’s $26 billion acquisition of LinkedIn, which the Redmond, Washington-based software giant completed early in December, will benefit partners, according to SkyKick.
Read more about the acquisition’s impact.
Cloud networking provider GTT Communications is acquiring Hibernia Networks in a $590 million cash-and-stock transaction.
Hibernia provides global, high-speed network connectivity services, and owns terrestrial and subsea fiber assets, including Hibernia Express, the lowest latency transatlantic cable system. The deal, consisting of $515 million in cash and about 3.3 million shares of GTT common stock, is expected to close in the first quarter.
Learn more here.