Zayo acquires Arialink, expanding Michigan fiber network reach

Zayo Group is making its second acquisition of the week by entering into an agreement to acquire Arialink, a Michigan-based fiber service provider.

Following its agreement to acquire AboveNet earlier this week, Arialink is the 20th acquisition Zayo has made since the company was founded over five years ago.

Like other regional fiber provider deals it has made in recent years, the Arialink buy is about bolstering Zayo's fiber network. Zayo will instantly add 930 fiber route miles to its national footprint, including 400 miles of dense metro networks in Lansing and Ann Arbor. When the deal is completed, Arialink's network will be interconnected with Zayo's existing network, giving area carriers and business customers access to bandwidth services on its 45,000-mile national network and Arialink's Michigan network.

Along with expanding its fiber network reach, Zayo ups its on-net building presence. Currently, Arialink's fiber network is connected to 437 buildings serving a number of education, government and enterprise customers.

Another growing customer segment this acquisition highlights is healthcare. Prior to the Zayo deal, Arialink began construction on a 190-mile network to interconnect major healthcare facilities through an FCC grant to the Michigan Public Health Institute. As a dual purpose middle mile network, this network will support not only rural health care facilities, but also provide backbone connectivity to local service providers that are trying to extend their broadband footprint underserved areas of their respective territories.

Set to close during the second quarter of 2012, the acquisition which will be funded with $18 million in cash, does not include its residential service assets that will be spun out to Arialink's previous owners.   

Jason Schreiber, the current CEO of Arialink, will join Zayo where he will continue to run the Michigan network business when the transaction is completed.

For more:
- see the release

Special report: The most important M&As of 2011

Related articles:
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Zayo raises $315M in new funding
AboveNet could be attractive acquisition target, say analysts
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