Midwestern fiber builder and operator Unite Private Networks announced an agreement this morning to acquire the Nebraska fiber network of Zito Media. Since getting that infusion from Ridgemont Equity Partners a couple years ago, UPN has been increasingly aggressive in the fiber space- but this is the first time that has manifested itself in the form of M&A.
The acquisition brings 838 route miles of fiber covering southeastern Nebraska to UPN's footprint, connecting its numerous existing assets in the Omaha and Lincoln metro areas and giving them dense regional coverage. The network was originally built to connect cable TV franchises, but has been serving enterprises as well for some time.
Following the deal, Zito will continue to offer its residential services of course, but also still has a regional Pennsylvania and northeastern Ohio fiber network that it has been extending by 382 miles via stimulus funding. If the Nebraska assets were for sale, perhaps they have similar plans in Pennsylvania/Ohio?
The deal is expected to close during the 3rd quarter, with debt financing being arranged by RBC Capital Markets and SunTrust Robinson Humphrey. Financial details were not disclosed.