EQT completes Spirit acquisition, merges operations with Lumos Networks

EQT has completed its acquisition of Spirit Communications, creating one of the largest independent fiber providers. (iStockPhoto)

Now that it has completed its acquisition of a large stake in Spirit Communications, EQT will combine the company with Lumos networks.

EQT acquired Lumos Networks in November 2017 following the telco’s ongoing evaluation of its assets. By selling itself to EQT, Lumos ended its network spinout plans with an eye toward expanding its existing fiber business.

By combining Spirit and Lumos together, EQT creates a regional fiber network­ stretching from Pittsburgh to Atlanta, with the majority of revenue and network concentrated in the high-growth markets of Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina. 

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Spirit and Lumos will operate a network consisting of 21,000 fiber route miles and well over 1 million total fiber strand miles. The combined business will have over 9,000 on-net locations, comprised of 4,500 on-net enterprise locations and more than 4,500 fiber to the cell (FTTC) locations.

Lumos and Spirit's combined fiber network

Lumos CEO Timothy Biltz will head the combined group, while Spirit's CEO Robert Keane and chairman Brian Singleton will serve on the combined company’s board of directors. The new company has around 900 employees. 

Tim Biltz said in a release that Spirit and Lumos complement one another well from a network and service focus.

“Spirit and Lumos have similar operating strategies, our fiber footprint is contiguous with very little overlap and we share the same tireless focus on providing an excellent customer experience,” Biltz said. “Quite simply, we belong together.”

Fiber asset acquisitions have continued to ramp since last year, when CenturyLink completed its acquisition of Level 3 and Consolidated Communications wrapped its acquisition of FairPoint Communications. The active period for fiber network sales and acquisitions has highlighted the importance of fiber assets.