The Canadian carrier MTS has found a buyer for its Allstream network, and it's not a strategic buyer that won the auction, nor is it any of the familiar private equity guys we've seen buying fiber around North America lately. No, it is the Egyptian tycoon Naguib Sawiris's Accelero Capital will acquire the business for a price of $520M.
Allstream operates a 30,000km fiber network and some 2,700 on-net buildings serving some 50,000 businesses across Canada. It had $758M in revenue and $115M in EBITDA in 2012, which places its valuation at about 4.5xEBITDA. Allstream's headquarters will remain in Toronto and its pension obligations will remain with MTS.
I had thought at one point that it might tempt someone like Carlos Slim or Tata Communications, but hadn't come up with Sawiris yet. Just what Accelero will do with the asset remains to be seen, although a capital infusion will surely help them drive things foward. Will Accelero be looking to acquire further assets, using Allstream as a platform for consolidation up north?