Birch continues acquisition streak with Lightyear deal

Birch Communications, a growing IP-based competitive provider focused on small to medium-sized businesses, has signed a deal to purchase various customer and network elements from Lexington, Ky.-based Lightyear Network Solutions for an undisclosed sum.  

Lightyear has built a facilities-based network, which incorporates Metaswitch voice switches, to serve a mix of business and residential customers throughout the United States.

Vincent Oddo, president and CEO of Birch, said in a release announcing the acquisition that in addition to gaining Lightyear's network facilities, hosted PBX offering and switching center in Lexington, "several new markets within Kentucky will be added to our network footprint which will expand our overall Birch IP-Network to 11 states."

This is the 18th acquisition Birch has made since 2006 as part of its "tuck-in" strategy that is focused on purchasing other service providers that can add complementary service and network assets to its fold.

Lightyear itself was aggressive with its acquisition plan and growth strategy. After going public in 2010 under the LYNS stock symbol, the service provider set forth ambitious plans to attract new investors and funding to purchase other CLECs. In 2011, it completed the integration of SouthEast Telephone, a regional service provider it purchased in 2010.

After meeting Lightyear's shareholder approval, customary regulatory approvals, and other closing conditions, Birch expects the deal to close in Q3 this year.

For more:
- see the release

Special report: The top wireline mergers & acquisitions in 2012

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Birch finishes IP network expansion to 290 central offices
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