Zayo Group, the Colorado fiber network operator that has acquired eight regional fiber networks within the last year or so, still sees the telecom industry M&A window as open and wouldn't be surprised if bigger telcos get back in the game. Zayo, headed by former executives from Level 3 Communications and ICG Communications such as CEO Dan Caruso, has realized a benefit from larger service providers withdrawing from M&A activity. That has allowed Zayo to get better prices on buys that might have become bidding wars if the larger players had been interested, Caruso said at a CoBank conference in Colorado.
Caruso said he wouldn't be surprised if some of those larger firms are ready to get back into the M&A game, and he may be on to something. Level 3, which was a major M&A player in 2006 and early 2007 before operational miscues and poor financials slowed its activity, has hinted that it may be ready for another consolidation wave. Elsewhere, merger speculation has followed companies like tw telecom (formerly Time Warner Telecom), Sprint Nextel, Windstream Communications and Qwest Communications, among others. Place your bets.
- see this story at Telephony
Zayo recently bought some CenturyTel operations. Zayo report
Level 3 hinted in May that it was hungering for deals. Level 3 report