Network M&A: Hibernia Buys a Transit Backbone

August 29th, 2013 by · 3 Comments

Hibernia Networks took another step away from its roots under the waves with an acquisition announcement today. They’re buying Atrato IP Networks, the Dutch-based transit and Ethernet backbone.

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Atrato operates a substantial footprint in both Europe and the USA, with a foothold over in Asia as well.  That’s not a bad description for Hibernia’s global infrastructure either, but where Hibernia is mostly transport and Ethernet, Atrato operates at the IP and managed services layer.

The two companies have been working closely together for some time.  In 2012 Atrato tapped Hibernia for significant intercity capacity both under the Atlantic and on land in the US.  And just a few months back they again tapped Hibernia, this time in Europe for multiple 100 Gigabit Ethernet pipes.  Clearly the integration won’t be that big a challenge at the network layer.

The deal is another piece of the European consolidation puzzle, and bringing together Hibernia’s Dublin personnel and Atrato’s team in Amsterdam.  Financial terms were not disclosed, but valuations in Europe have been low and Hibernia’s backers at Columbia Ventures Corporation and Constellation Growth Capital are taking advantage of the opportunity to expand and diversify further from the simple submarine cable system they bought a decade ago.

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Categories: Internet Backbones · Mergers and Acquisitions · Undersea cables

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3 Comments So Far

  • GigabitG says:

    Smart move by Hibernia Networks fast becoming a true next generation carrier

  • Anon says:

    I never know what “next generation carrier” means – is it just one without local loop assets? Because increasingly the money is all in last mile and almost none of it is in either international capacity or IP transit. Getting into a business where 50c a Mbit is the going rate doesn’t seem like a great idea. On a global scale Adrato is tiny and IP transit is all about scale.

  • GigabitG says:

    You’re right, “next generation carrier” always sounds like PowerPoint conference speak. This buy could go either way, in my opinion, but it looks like an attempt by Hibernia to move up from offering 10g waves with diversity into the wholesale market, towards an Ethernet and IP product set more suited to MNC enterprise customers. They already have media and finance customers so I imagine they’ll look to build on these as they launch new services on the back of the acquisition. Looks good on paper…

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