Fiber M&A activity may be heating up, but the first such deal to be announced this year won’t be going forward. In January Cinnabar Ventures announced it was moving to acquire US Metro, a small metro and regional fiber operator with lines crisscrossing the southwestern Florida, with special focus on Fort Myers, Naples, and the surrounding areas. The idea was a vertically integrated southwest Florida technology company, offering cloud-based services in the region over its own fiber. Apparently though the details didn’t work out, and in April the wedding was called off by mutual agreement.
Cinnabar is a young company and has decided it must focus on software and media for now before expanding its horizons. The metro fiber business is a very good one nowadays, but that doesn’t mean it is easy and I think Cinnabar right to focus on its main lines of business at such an early stage. US Metro for its part had a great 2010, growing 98% in 2009 over 2008, and with revenue up 61% in Q1/10 over Q1/09. This new development puts US Metro’s assets back on the market, in theory at least. But with growth rates like those, perhaps they’re having too much fun.
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