It finally happened, Zayo took its fiber business public this morning on the NYSE. The stock debuted at $19 and has surged up to $22 thus far. It’s a long-awaited reversal of what has been the usual pattern over the past decade where publicly traded fiber tickers have steadily vanished from trading floors.
I’ve been following Zayo’s progress since the beginning, and the first story on them here on Telecom Ramblings was at the time of their acquisition of Northwest Telephone back in June of 2008 by the name of “Zayo’s Bottomless Shopping Cart” — a case where time has transformed deliberate hyperbole into simple accuracy. That they were acquisitive was obvious, but they’ve made 25 more deals since then and one can only guess if life in the public eye will slow them down or speed them up. Congrats to Dan Caruso and his ever-expanding team!
As the markets welcome Zayo to the trading floor, let’s take a moment to remember a few of the network operator stock symbols that are no longer seen on US stock market tickers since the telecom nuclear winter started to thaw. Whether bought, liquidated, taken private, or in some cases just voluntarily de-listed, ABVT, GLBC, BWNG, Q, FTGX, CBEY, XOHO, RCNI, TCL, CWW, COLT, PAET, SBC, BLS, and ITCD all come to mind and I’m sure there are more — especially if we were to step back into the dot-com crash itself. Having their last meals right now are the tickers TWTC and ENVE. The list of fiber network tickers added is somewhat shorter with just ZAYO (by IPO), LMOS (by spinoff), and GTT and ELNK (by acquisition) popping into my head.
We have a few other aggressive, privately held fiber operators out there that could follow Zayo’s lead at some point. Lightower perhaps?
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