Blockbuster Channel M&A: Mitel-ShoreTel, Windstream-Broadview, More


An acquisition with a major channel impact hit the presses last month.

Mitel’s $430 million purchase of ShoreTel could present a significant portfolio change for partners selling the companies’ unified communications offerings. And there were plenty of other IT/telecommunications mergers announced in July. From the behemoth CenturyLink-Level 3 deal that is slowly inching toward completion, to Windstream closing its purchase of Broadview Networks, to smaller IT firms banding together, we’ve got you covered in this gallery highlighting the M&A news you might’ve missed in July.

Also featured: Extreme Networks-Avaya, a Verizon-XO update and the huge cable speculation that won’t go away.

Looking for more M&A? Click here to see the biggest channel-impacting mergers and acquisitions from May and June.

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Windstream completed its $227.5 million acquisition of Broadview Networks, the provider of cloud-based UC to SMBs. Broadview offers a suite of cloud-based services under the OfficeSuite UC brand. The acquisition was announced in April.

Read what Brian Crotty, the newly named president of Windstream’s midmarket and small business division, told us what partners should expect for the integration.

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Mitel announced plans to acquire ShoreTel for $430 million. Mitel said the combined company will be the No. 2 player in UCaaS, and it more than doubles its UCaaS revenue to $263 million. The transaction is expected to go final in the third quarter, subject to ShoreTel stockholder approval, regulatory approval and customary conditions.

Get more details about the deal.

Meantime, Mitel told us it is ready to work with Toshiba partners now that it owns the tech giant’s Telecommunication Systems Division (TSD), which was set to shut down. TSD is a manufacturer of IP business telephone systems designed for small-to medium-size businesses and larger enterprises with multiple locations.

Read about the initial purchase and Mitel’s message to TSD dealers.

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Extreme Networks completed its acquisition of Avaya's networking business for about $100 million. Avaya filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy in January. It entered into an asset purchase agreement with Extreme for the networking business in a section 363 sale under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

Read more about how the purchase came to be.

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CenturyLink-Level 3

Four more states gave the OK to CenturyLink’s acquisition of Level 3 Communications. CenturyLink announced that Alaska, Colorado, New York and Pennsylvania have approved its $34 billion purchase. Nearly half of the states now have signed off on it.

Read more about the CenturyLink-Level 3 deal.

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Jake Heinz, chief marketing officer for Verizon Business Markets, spoke to Channel Partners about Verizon’s integration with XO Communications, where he spent the last five years as chief marketing officer. Heinz said the majority of XO’s customer base fit neatly into the recently created Verizon Business Markets.

Read his Q&A with Channel Partners.

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Big Cable Rumors

Should Comcast buy Verizon? Can you imagine the channel ramifications? Well, that's exactly what Citi analyst Jason Bazinet wrote in a research note, saying the deal could be worth $215 billion. The likelihood of regulators approving such a tie-up between America's largest wireless company and the largest cableco might be slim.

Speculation also swirled around a Charter-Sprint tie-up. The Wall Street Journal said Sprint's chairman proposed a cash-and-stock merger, but the second-largest cableco reportedly rejected that idea.

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Crown Castle-Lightower

Cell-tower operator Crown Castle International said it is acquiring Lightower Fiber Networks for $7.1 billion. Crown Castle said the purchase enhances its position as the largest provider of shared wireless infrastructure in the United States, with about 40,000 towers, 50,000 small-cell nodes on air or under development, and 60,000 route miles of fiber nationally.

Learn more about the acquisition.

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Ontario, Canada-based Sandvine Corp. will soon be part of California-based Procera Networks. Private equity firm Francisco Partners won the bidding war for Sandvine, which provides network policy control solutions. Francisco bought Procera in 2015. The firm says Sandvine is worth approximately $562 million.

Read about the initial plans for integration.

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Zift Solutions and Relayware are merging to create a company with the resources needed to support channel organizations in multiple areas. The deal joins Zift, a North Carolina-based provider of marketing, sales and operations processes for channel partner programs, and Relayware, a New Jersey-based provider of software that helps manage partner relationships.

Read about what they hope the combined company will become.

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Arcserve announced the acquisition of Zetta, the cloud data protection and disaster-recovery solutions company, and in the process outlined plans for an expanded product portfolio beginning with direct-to-cloud disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) and backup as a service (BaaS).

Get details on the purchase.

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eFolder, the provider of data protection solutions for the IT channel, and Axcient, the provider of DRaaS solutions, are merging. The combo brings together "proven innovators with a shared belief in simplifying the way businesses protect data, ensure IT infrastructure availability, and maximize employee productivity," the companies said. eFolder offers a family of products for MSPs and their SMB clients to protect data, sync and share information, and recover servers, through a variety of products.

Learn more about the tie-up here.

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Software security firm Ivanti is buying RES Software, a company that creates, automates and secures digital workspaces across hybrid environments. RES’ flagship offering addresses user-environment management and identity governance across physical, virtual and cloud environments via its converged platform.

Get details on the acquisition.

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