ZenFi, Cross River Fiber agree to merge

ZenFi Networks and Cross River Fiber have decided to merge. The two companies provide communications infrastructure and services in metropolitan New York and New Jersey.

ZenFi operates in Manhattan, while Cross River operates literally across the river (the Hudson) in New Jersey, extending into other nearby areas in New York. For most practical purposes, it is easy to treat the two geographical areas as part of a single metro market, and they often are.

Also, the top executives at the two companies, ZenFi CEO Ray LaChance and Cross River CEO Vincenzo Clemente, have known each other for a long time, and worked together even before they founded their current companies.

With personal ties and customers who naturally have operations on either shore of the Hudson, it should be of little surprise that ZenFi and Cross River have a history of working together. Last year they collaborated on a portal for ordering data center interconnects.

ZenFi Networks, founded in 2014,  specializes in supporting mobile network operators, telecommunications service providers and large enterprises with fronthaul fiber, backhaul fiber, colocation facilities and rights-of-way siting solutions.

Cross River Fiber, founded in 2011, serves enterprise businesses, carriers and wireless mobility providers with a fiber optic backbone and other network facilities.

In short, the two provide similar services using similar network infrastructure. Together, they will have a combined 700 route miles of fiber optic network, 130 on-net buildings, 49 colocation facilities and 1,700 outdoor wireless locations with more than 3,000 under contract.  

The companies said the current ZenFi Networks and Cross River management teams will continue to lead the combined company with the support of Ridgemont Equity Partners, a middle market private equity firm and majority shareholder of both companies.

All three companies involved in the merger declined to provide any financial details of the merger.