Rising competitive metro and regional fiber operator Zayo made several major moves last week, following up on last month’s purchase of AGL Networks. First, of all they have accessed the credit markets, selling $250M in notes due 2017 at a rate of 10.25%. They will use the money in part to refinance their existing credit facilities, but $250M is quite a bit more than they need for that purpose. The remainder will go into the ‘general corporate purposes’ war chest, which in the case of Zayo always includes possible additional strategic M&A. Lately I have heard a few rumors that Zayo is about to get bought out, but I rather doubt it, and the company’s balance sheet moves tend to reinforce my opinion – they are still on offense.
Zayo has also announced major new fiber initiatives in Houston, Chicago, and Atlanta. In the case of Atlanta of course, this is probably related to the AGL purchase. While the deal hasn’t closed yet, they are clearly planning to hit the ground running and light AGL’s dark fiber.
The company has had assets in and around Chicago for some time, some of which came in its second fiber purchase from Citynet and some along with its other Indiana assets. They will now be taking further advantage of that fiber.
Houston appears to be a brand new market for the company, I can find no information about fiber there coming from their previous M&A activity.
And earlier this month, Zayo Enterprise Networks is said to have begun investing deeper into its Memphis market, upgrading some 200 miles of fiber. This activity appears to be related to their FTTT work in the area. They are also said to be considering expanding geographically into Millington, Arlington and North Mississippi.