Sidera, Lightower To Merge in $2 Billion Deal

In a potentially game-changing move for eastern data centers, a group led by investment firm Berkshire Partners announced Dec. 27 that it would buy and merge together fiber providers Lightower Fiber Networks and Sidera Networks. The deal is valued at over $2 billion. (Berkshire Partners should not be confused with Berkshire Hathaway, run by celebrated investor Warren Buffett.)

Combined, Sidera and Lightower will serve the Midwest, East Coast, and Atlantic Coast regions; Sidera’s Web site includes a network map that includes most of the locations it serves, including Chicago and Toronto. The conglomerate will provide access to more than 6,600 on-net locations, including commercial buildings, data centers, financial exchanges, content hubs and other critical interconnection facilities.

The deal is certainly significant for the other service providers competing for business among the data-center hubs along the East Coast.

At just 6,600 route-miles of fiber, Lightower is the smaller entity, but its data-center connections include the data-rich environments of downtown New York City, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Connecticut. Sidera’s network will extend the combined company’s reach as far as Chicago, Toronto, and London.

Lightower itself is the result of M/C Partners and Pamlico Capital acquiring National Grid Wireless US in 2007. Sidera is an independent business spun out from Abry Partners’ $1.2 billion acquisition of cable operator RCN Corp. The deal is expected to close by the second quarter of 2013, the companies said.


Image: Olga Miltsova/