Seven times lucky, or so Zayo Group (news, filings) hopes as they have now announced their seventh acquisition of the year. They are buying Baltimore's Litecast for $22M in what is probably their final deal of the year, although there's still two weeks left and you just never know.
Litecast owns and operates a dense metro fiber network in the Baltimore metro area, connecting up 110 on-net buildings including the major data centers with about 50 route miles of fiber. It's a highly concentrated asset that meshes very well with the FiberGate and AboveNet footprints they bought over the summer, fleshing out the company's presence in Maryland between the two major markets of Philadephia and Washington DC/Northern Virginia in which they are already huge.
It's been quite a busy year for Zayo, with the MarquisNet, AboveNet, Arialink, FiberGate, US Carrier, First Communications, and now Litecast deals following one after another. One keeps waiting for them to take a break, but Dan Caruso and crew clearly feel that it's time to strike while the iron is hot. There will never be such a collection of metro fiber assets to roll up again, and at the moment they're almost alone in the game.
There are a lot fewer targets now than there used to be, but there are still dozens of potential targets if Zayo stays on the warpath in 2013. Florida still looks like a place they'd like to do a deal if they can find something. There's FiberLight of course, but maybe FPL will finally be ready to part with its Fibernet division, given that they haven't followed up the acquisition of the Grande metro assets in Texas with further rollups.
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