We started off the week considering the likely consolidation targets among US fiber networks in 2017. Now let's flip the question around and ask who the likeliest buyers are. Who do you think is going to be shopping for network assets this year?
The potential buyers listed in the poll are basically the same as in the previous one, with international telcos thrown in as possible buyers, as well as a few wildcards with deep pockets and a demonstrated interest in networks. In the case of smaller companies, consider the buying power of any private equity backers as part of the deal. Feel free to use the 'Other' box to suggest anyone I might have missed.
Last year, the top choices were Zayo, Level 3, Comcast, CS&L, and Crown Castle, in that order. Level 3 will be merging with CenturyLink, but from the other side of the table for the most part, and Comcast didn't make a move in the fiber space But Zayo bought Electric Lightwave, and both CS&L and Crown Castle made more than one move, so three out of five isn't a bad success rate. Of the next 5, GTT, Windstream, and Birch each made moves as well, so the percentage held.