Lightower completes its $2 billion merger with Sidera

Lightower has completed its $2 billion merger with Sidera Networks, creating what the two providers claim will be one of the largest U.S.-based metro fiber providers.

With the merger complete, the combined company will be led by Rob Shanahan and retain the Lightower brand.

As a combined service provider, the new Lightower network will have over 20,000 route miles with over 7,500 on-net locations. In addition, Lightower's network connects more than 130 data centers, over 115 carrier hotels and central offices, 40 financial exchanges and 18 Lightower colocation centers.

Another added bonus of the deal is that Lightower will gain Sidera's 1,000 route mile network that is scheduled to be completed by the end of the year.

Leading the deal was Boston-based Berkshire Partners, one of Lightower's key investors. Meanwhile, Pamlico Capital, a significant Lightower investor, and ABRY Partners, a significant Sidera investor, will remain as investors in the new company.

The service provider, however, has not revealed other financial details.

Seeing that both Lightower and Sidera were born as the product of acquisitions themselves, the next question is what will be Lightower's next acquisition move?

Some possibilities could include Tech Valley Communications, DukeNet or even Lumos Networks (Nasdaq: LMOS).

By acquiring Tech Valley, Lightower could deepen its presence in upstate NY state and northern New England states such as New Hampshire. Tech Valley expanded its Northern New England and Canadian presence via its recent acquisitions of TelJet and New Hampshire-based segTEL.

With DukeNet, Lightower could establish a foothold in the Southeast, while Lumos could give them deeper presence in West Va. and other nearby states.

Lumos itself has been cited by Cowan and Company as a possible acquisition target  given the traction it has made in the enterprise and wholesale markets.

Stopping short of revealing any other deals in 2013, Shanahan told FierceTelecom in a previous interview it will keeping a close eye on other assets that could add value to its network.

"There are other smaller independents that would be a good fit for Lightower/Sidera," he said. "We're going to have our organic growth strategy as well as acquisition opportunities for growth as well."

For more:
- see the release

On the Hot Seat: Rob Shanahan on merging Lightower, Sidera's futures

Related articles:
Lightower and Sidera come together
Lightower Fiber Networks and Sidera to merge in $2 billion deal
Sidera to supply managed 100G wavelength service to MetroCast
Sidera adds to 100 GB network in Chicago area