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Zayo to Acquire Spread Networks

November 29, 2017

The telecommunications space is in a state of transition. A key component driving the change in the air is the growing number of mergers and acquisitions, which are shaping the future of this industry. The competition is fierce, and firms far and wide are fortifying footprints and expanding portfolios to keep up with the landscape.

This week, Zayo announced a definitive agreement to acquire Spread Networks, a privately-owned telecommunications company that operates and owns a high-fiber count long haul route spanning 825 miles between Chicago and New York.  The addition results in a low-latency, coast to coast network fit to support cloud, media and content providers alike.

By merging the Spread network with its own, Zayo will be better positioned to support financial services customers, and the high-fiber route is rich with opportunity. While it currently serves more than 60 customers, less than 25 percent of the fibers on the route are in use.

"Spread constructed this route to provide the fastest possible speed on the shortest possible route," said Jack Waters, CTO and president of Fiber Solutions at Zayo. "This asset is an outstanding complement to our existing network, providing customers with low-latency options to and from the country's leading centers of finance and commerce. Given the relative simplicity of the business, this will be a straightforward integration with meaningful, near-term synergies."

Zayo will purchase Spread Networks for $127 million in cash, and the deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2018 – positioning Zayo for a banner year.

Telecom is a tricky space to play; the landscape seems constantly in motion. Those willing to leap toward opportunity when presented will be the ones reaping the reward at the end of the day. And as digital transformation continues and network performance is mission critical, I’d expect far more innovation as well as mergers and acquisitions in the space.

Edited by Mandi Nowitz

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