Mergers & Acquisitions

Mergers & Acquisitions

December 20, 2010

(20)10 Days of Techness: On the Sixth Day of Techness IT Gave to We: M&A

Welcome to the (20)10 Days of Techness. This is the sixth installment of a 10-part series of postings that will discuss prevalent trends during past year. Happy Holidays!

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

The Wall Street Journal recently reported that telecommunications this year has been the busiest market for M&A, followed by the financial services sector.

Indeed, combinations of business-focused telephone and data service providers looking to expand their fiber assets and service portfolios have been widespread this year.

On this front, 2010 saw CenturyLink announce plans to buy Qwest (News - Alert) for $10.6 billion; PAETEC move to capture Cavalier; Lightower Fiber Networks buy Lexent Metro Connect and Veroxity Technology Partners; the combination of Covad, MegaPath and Speakeasy (News - Alert); the merger of Airband and Sparkplug; Windstream’s acquisition of Q-Comm subsidiaries Kentucky Data Link and Norlight, as well as its purchases of Iowa Telecom and NuVox.

There was also a fair bit of M&A action among telephony/UC cloud providers.

For example, this fall Broadvox, in an effort that appears aimed at helping meet its cloud-based aspirations, announced plans to merge with Cypress Communications, which is known for its UC- as-a-service offerings. Around the same time, BroadSoft signed a definitive agreement to acquire Casabi (News - Alert), a provider of cloud-based content and messaging applications for the consumer market, for approximately $1.95 million.

Private equity firms also are expanding their communications-related holdings these days via acquisition. In October, Carlyle Group agreed to buy Syniverse (News - Alert) Technologies Inc. for $2.6 billion and CommScope Inc. for $3.9 billion. The Carlyle Group is a private equity firm with more than 900 corporate and real estate investments in its portfolio, including Ethernet in the fiber mile equipment company Actelis Networks, mobile messaging and marketing outfit Air2Web (News - Alert), Internet business exchange business Equinix, and several other communications-related holdings. Syniverse provides mobile roaming, messaging and network solutions to more than 800 mobile operators, cable and Internet providers, and enterprises in more than 160 countries. CommScope sells wireless and wireline infrastructure solutions to business and service provider network operators.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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