Hibernia Raises Cash, Eyes Expansion?

May 21st, 2009 by · Leave a Comment

Hibernia Atlantic raised $12M in senior secured debt financing last week, with the money coming in from BIA Digital Partners.  Now, $12M is not a ton, but the key is that this money seems to be opportunistic.  It's not that Hibernia needs it, but that it has something it wants to do with it.  That the terms are favorable enough to make financing feasible right now may be a further sign that the credit markets continue to thaw at the edges. 

So what are they going to do with it?  Much of their capex budget is currently tied up in their Northern Ireland project, but this new capital is apparently targeted at the US market.  That implies that Hibernia may be ready to expand westward as they said they might, using the dark fiber it has been sitting on.  I hadn't known just what fiber that was, but based on the route map it seems clear that the fiber lies largely on the rather unique footprint of 360Networks .  In hindsight that seems logical enough, given that the shared history of the two companies.  If they were indeed to light that fiber, it appears that Hibernia will be one Atlanta-Dallas link short of a full national fiber network.

Actually, Hibernia and 360Networks look like a good match, I wonder if M&A isn't on the horizon there someday.  360Network's wholesale VoIP business could expand to the east coast and across the Atlantic, while Hibernia's Global Financial Network would have full access to the West coast.

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Categories: Financials · Internet Backbones · Mergers and Acquisitions · Undersea cables

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