Los Angeles's Wilcon is bursting out of downtown and deep into the surrounding area with an acquisition that will shift the metro fiber landscape throughout southern California. With the help of their backers at Pamlico Capital, they're buying Freedom Dark Fiber Networks according to an announcement that will hit the wires morning.
Freedom was founded in 2007, and since then has built out about 3,000 route miles of metro fiber connecting about 1,000 buildings. Their network covers LA, Orange County, and the Inland Empire and stretches out into the Bakersfield and San Diego metro areas as well. And they've done it so far under the radar that they never landed on my metro fiber statistics or maps pages.
The additional assets will give Wilcon's deep fiber rings hooking up the major data centers downtown the ability to reach out deep into the suburbs. It will also give them a much wider cross section of customers and open up numerous vertical markets for them.
Freedom has been a dark fiber business, and while Wilcon will keep doing that they're also going to be expanding their own lit services throughout their expanded footprint. I expect that will keep them busy for a while, and Freedom also has a bit of fiber up in Northern California for them to invest further in.
Even if I had known about Freedom, I must admit I wouldn't have considered Wilcon amongst the most likely buyers. Zayo and Level 3 probably would have topped that list, and Integra might have been on it as well. But these two companies are very locally focused, have known each other for some time, and can see the potential in the combination up close.
That said, it also might make the combined company a potential future M&A target for the same likely suitors down the line. No financial details were given, and the deal won't close for a month or two pending the usual regulatory approvals and such.