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Zayo Buys, Grows & Raises Debt

Raymond McConville
News Analysis
Raymond McConville
11/19/2007

Zayo Bandwidth Inc., the brainchild of Level 3 Communications Inc. (NYSE: LVLT) alumni Dan Caruso and John Scarano, now has a bigger wallet and more assets.

Last week, the bandwidth services company announced it had received $85 million in debt financing led by CIT Group Inc. (See Zayo Gets $85M.) Then it followed that announcement up with the creation of a new managed services unit called -- wait for it! -- Zayo Managed Services. (See Zayo Forms New Unit.)

As part of the new formation, Zayo has also acquired privately held VoicePipe Communications which provided retail VOIP services and hosted PBX services. VoicePipe, like the management team at Zayo, has a Level 3 pedigree having been formed as a part of ICG Communications. ICG later spun off VoicePipe, then bought by Level 3.

Now, in addition to providing the physical metro fiber assets necessary to connect a building to a service provider, Zayo is a service provider. The company will provide voice, data, video conferencing, hosted PBX, and other services to small- and medium-sized enterprises and municipalities.

Dennis Kyle will be the newly formed unit's president and is himself a Level 3 alumnus. While at Level 3, Kyle was senior vice president of small to medium enterprise and indirect channels. He also used to work at ICG, like Zayo co-founders Caruso and Scarano.

Zayo's $85 million debt financing comes on top of the $225 million in equity financing it already received from a number of VCs. (See Level 3 Co-Founder Starts Zayo Bandwidth.) The money was raised with acquisitions in mind.

"The purpose of the debt raise was primarily future acquisition opportunities," said John Scarano, Zayo's founder and COO. "We have a fairly long list of active opportunities and I suspect in the next month or two there will be at least one more announcement."

Zayo also recently announced the closing of its acquisition of Onvoy . (See Zayo Closes Buy.) Onvoy, like Zayo's other acquisitions, brought extensive fiber assets to the company, but unlike the others it brought more diversity.

"Onvoy was formed for the purpose of providing interconnection services between the many rural carriers in Minnesota," said Scarano. With equal access laws in effect since the 1984 breakup of AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), there are over 70 rural carriers in Minnesota that Zayo can now interconnect customers with thanks to its Onvoy acquisition.

Zayo now has three distinct business units -- the original Zayo Bandwidth, its newly formed Managed Services unit, and its Onvoy interconnection unit.

— Raymond McConville, Reporter, Light Reading

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