The Technology Solutions portion of Rockefeller Group has teamed up with Hibernia Atlantic’s Global Financial Network (GFN) to offer its clients bandwidth services in many of the world’s biggest financial markets. The GFN was just unveiled in December, and seems to be gaining some early traction despite the rather inauspicious timing. This deal with Rockefeller Group follows an earlier one at IPC Network Services, and both are enablers rather than users – they hook up bandwidth for the real customers. I sort of doubt that business is brisk right now for either given the meltdown on Wall Street, so these deals are for future growth rather than anything immediate.
The GFN the latest step in the rather unique transformation of Hibernia Atlantic. After all, the company was born out of one corner of the ashes of 360Networks when the last bubble popped. The initial asset itself, a shiny new $800+M transatlantic cable with few customers and little else, was snapped up for less than $18M by Columbia Ventures in 2003. Since then, the company has leased metro and regional fiber on both coasts and even built some, and now has two rather plump feet for its long undersea legs. It is a network footprint that really doesn’t look remotely like anyone else’s, even though the only unique individual part of it is the route of the transatlantic cable.
That network footprint bridges the major financial centers of two continents, which means that Hibernia’s wholesale bandwidth business has a natural enterprise complement serving the financial sector directly. Or at least, that is obviously the plan behind their Global Financial Network. I have no idea whether it will really bear fruit, but the company has become an increasingly interesting player in the last few years. For a while I wondered if Columbia Ventures was just looking to flip Hibernia, but they have clearly focused on operating it. Nowadays I am wonder if they might be doing some M&A of their own down the line.
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