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Master Agents Strengthen Portfolio with Lightower-Sidera Merger

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Master Agents Strengthen Portfolio with Lightower-Sidera Merger

April 22, 2013

  By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor

Lightower Fiber Networks made a move last year to expand its territory. In December, the company announced a merger worth more than $2 billion with Sidera Networks (News - Alert). Now closed, the deal creates a new combined company under the Lightower name, led by Lightower CEO, Rob Shanahan.

Boston-based Berkshire Partners led the transaction, while Lightower investor Pamlico Capital and Sidera investor, ABRY Partners will both remain investors in the newly created company. 

For the master agent seeking to leverage a new opportunity to extend to clients, Lightower and Sidera together create one of the largest metro fiber providers in the U.S. Its footprint spans the New York metro area, New England, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, Virginia and continues west to Chicago. Connectivity also includes landing points in Toronto and London. 

According to this report, the services provided by the new Lightower include content carriage, backup and recovery, medical imaging, media distribution, application connectivity, distance learning and cloud connectivity over dark fiber, waves, Ethernet and more. More than 130 data centers are connected, as well as 115 central offices and carrier hotels, 40 financial exchanges and 18 colocation centers. 

While the details of the transaction between the two industry leaders have not been disclosed, channel partners are sure to benefit from access to a network that is not only broader, but also a strong player in the industry. Changes in light of the merger are not expected to be felt at the channel partner or master agent levels, except for access to more strategically relevant resources, according to Mike Sicoli, Sidera CEO. 

Sicoli told Channel Partners Online in a second article that the move overall is a positive one for both customers and partners. Asked to remain with the newly formed company in some capacity, Sicoli decided to pursue other opportunities. He does anticipate other jobs cuts, but that information isn’t expected to be available for at least three to four months. 

The ultimate direction of the new entity could be decided by the growing demand for bandwidth-intensive services, such as cloud computing and mobile video. The union between the two companies allows for a newly positioned entity offering much-needed colocation, private networks and other products.

The master agent catering to customers in the affected areas will be able to present a stronger portfolio, allowing them to better respond to growing demands for next generation communication services. It can also help to set a higher standard in the marketplace, putting more pressure on competing companies to extend their networks and service offerings. In doing so, the market will continue to move toward more competitive pricing and extended services, delivering more value in any deal.  

Edited by Jamie Epstein
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