According to reports, private equity firm Court Square Capital Partners is buying up Fibertech, taking it off the hands of Nautic and Ridgemont Equity, which used to be part of Bank of America. The value of the deal was pegged at $500M, though the extent to which that number has been rounded off is unclear to me. Fibertech builds and sells/leases metro and regional dark fiber in tier 2/3 markets across the northeast and mid-Atlantic, plus a couple in the Midwest. Court Square will pay for the deal partially via its own funds, partially via debt to be raised, and partially via an investment by Fibertech’s management.
It was back in March we learned that Fibertech was up for sale, and at that time I was told by sources close to the auction that if anything happened it would probably be in August – and they were right on the money. However, it’s not going to change the competitive environment too much as rather than consolidating assets it is simply changing private equity hands. I had heard rumors that Lightower was close to winning the auction, and I had earlier speculated that ABRY might buy it to combine with RCN Metro – both of which would have been interesting combinations with synergies. But with this deal, Fibertech will continue as an independent force in the metro fiber business.
Unless of course Court Square has further plans, which certainly could be the case. According to reports, Fibertech indicated its intention to expand beyond its current geographies under the new ownership, but they didn’t specify whether that would be organically or inorganically. For Court Square to outbid other fiber operators and for Fibertech’s management to go in on it with them, it certainly sounds to me as if they have some interesting plans in mind.
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