Is Zayo Teeing Up a European M&A?

April 28th, 2014 by · 4 Comments

I’m picking up rumors over in Europe that Zayo is set to make a move on some French metro fiber. The target of that speculation is none other than Neo Telecoms, which operates an extensive metro dark fiber network in Paris as well as a set of data centers around the country and a regional IP backbone.

If the rumor comes to fruition, it would be Zayo’s first foray into continental Europe beyond the starter ring that came with the AboveNet deal. Interestingly, Neo Telecoms itself originated from the Paris assets of MFN (later AboveNet) in the first place. While I doubt anyone there would think of it as a homecoming after all these years, such a deal seems logical enough.

Neo Telecoms is precisely the sort of asset I figured Zayo would be looking at in Europe. The only problem with the idea that I came up with was, well, it’s in France. If I were drawing up a list of markets in Western Europe that might resist the entry of an American private-equity-backed alternative metro fiber operator, France would probably be at the top of it. Few international network operators venture into French infrastructure outside of Paris itself, but then for fiber this is in fact mostly Paris I suppose.

But perhaps not all.  Two years ago Neo Telecoms made a purchase of its own, acquiring MIT Group and its data center and (I believe) fiber network down in and around Montpellier on France’s Mediterranean coast. I don’t see much detail about that asset on their website today though, I wonder what they’ve been doing with it.

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Categories: Datacenter · Mergers and Acquisitions · Metro fiber

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