Network Providers Lightower, Sidera Announce Merger

Merging the two network providers will allow the new company to offer broader services

Boxborough, Mass.-based network provider Lightower Fiber Networks has announced a $2 billion management buy-out funded by Boston-based investment firm Berkshire Partners, which will include the acquisition of New York-based rival Sidera Networks (formerly known as RCN Metro).

Officials say the merger will expand both companies' footprints to offer new connectivity routes and services, and create a high-performance fiber network covering the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and Midwest regions of the US, connected to fiber landing sites, international exchanges, and a total of 6,000 on-net locations, including datacenters, exchanges, content provider hubs and client sites.

Under the proposed deal -- which is anticipated to close in the second quarter of 2013, subject to regulatory approval -- existing Lightower investor Pamlico Capital and Sidera investor Abry Partners will remain shareholders in the new company, which will be headed by Lightower chief executive Rob Shanahan.

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