2012 is winding down, but network M&A isn't on vacation yet -- at least in Texas. This morning Alpheus Communications made its first inorganic expansion move in recent history, announcing the acquisition of Net Star Telecommunications.
Net Star is a Houston-based provider of network and data services, and its customer base will help Alpheus expand its enterprise business there. The additional revenues from Net Star will be moved onto Alpheus's physical assets over time, deriving the usual synergies. Financial terms weren't disclosed, but I'm sure this wasn't a large deal that augurs a shift in strategy -- just an opportunistic pounce.
Alpheus was bought last year by the Gores Group, and has since been reconfiguring itself from a wholesale provider of access to central offices into an enterprise-focused service provider that better leverages its extensive regional and metro fiber footprint. They could very well be planning further acquisitions within or adjacent to their footprint, but of course with private equity owners they could easily turn around and find a buyer as well. For now though, they are definitely on offense both organically and inorganically.