After taking a couple years off, Zayo has hopped back into the M&A driver's seat. Yesterday the fiber builder and operator announced a definitive agreement to acquire Intelligent Fiber Network. Zayo only recently sold off its zColo division to DataBank, refocusing the business onto fiber.
IFN operates a 5,000 route-mile network serving some 400 customers primarily within Indiana. They have long been a part of the Indatel network, having been founded by a coalition of independent telcos in the region. More recently they had opened up that membership to include a local energy utility as well. They also rebranded from Indiana Fiber Network to Intelligent Fiber Network a few years ago and began looking to expand their regional presence. We had IFN's Kelly Dyer here a few years back for an Industry Spotlight article.
For Zayo it's a bit like coming home, given that one of the company's very first acquisitions back in 2007 was Indiana Fiber Works. They have invested significantly in infrastructure in the state over the years since then as well. But IFN's footprint will give them more depth, adding another 1,000 on-net buildings to their footprint across the state.
It also brings back memories of Zayo's purchase of US Carrier down in Georgia, which was also built and operated by a coalition of independent telcos. Such assets have remained relatively aloof from the consolidation in the markets over the years, but obviously not entirely. There are other such opportunities out there if Zayo is looking for them (and they might be).
The deal is expected to close during the second half of 2021, and financial details were not disclosed.
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