Lightpath enters Boston market via M&A flurry

Lightpath, the fiber connectivity company now owned by Altice USA and Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners (MSIP), will enter a market served by incumbents that include Comcast, RCN and Verizon.

Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor

June 16, 2021

2 Min Read
Lightpath enters Boston market via M&A flurry

Lightpath is on the move.

Lightpath, a fiber-focused business services unit now co-owned by Altice USA and Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners (MSIP), said it has entered the Boston market after striking deals for three providers in the region: Cambridge Network Solutions, the network assets of Hub Fiber, and a third provider that has yet to be identified. Lightpath noted that the Hub Fiber deal is expected to close within 30 days, and the other two have already been salted away.

Combined, the three acquisitions represent more than 80 route miles of deployed "high-count" fiber networks that currently serve over 100 locations, including 12 area data centers, in Boston, Cambridge, Somerville, Waltham, Burlington, Billerica, Bedford and Lowell, the company said. CNS, considered the core of the trio of deals announced today, has a fiber network woven into downtown Boston, the Boston seaport, Cambridge and the surrounding areas.

Lightpath's network in the Boston region will connect to its New York Metro network, expanding the company's existing 18,000 route miles of fiber serving more than 12,000 locations.

Financial terms of the deals were not announced. Lightpath said the acquisitions were funded with cash on its balance sheet and won't have a material impact on the company's leverage.

Strategically, the acquisitions will enable Lightpath to broaden its business and enter a commercial services market that is also the turf of incumbents such as Comcast, RCN and Verizon.

Chris Morley, an exec late of Zayo Group who was named CEO of Lightpath in January, said Boston's focus on tech, financial services and research institutes made for a good fit for expansion. He hinted at more moves to come.

"This is the first step for Lightpath expanding beyond the NY Metro region after reliably serving thousands of customers there for over 30 years," Morley said in a statement. "We are excited to bring our network, connectivity solutions, and innovative customer service approach to more organizations. These acquisitions will help us hit the ground running, and we will be able to start serving new customers right away."

Word of the deals arrives nearly a year after Altice USA agreed to sell 49.99% of Lightpath to MSIP in a deal that carried an implied enterprise value of $3.2 billion. Altice USA retained a 50.01% interest in Lightpath and control of the company.

That agreement came together about 18 months after rumors swirled that Lightpath was on the block as Altice USA, which snared Lightpath via its acquisition of Cablevision Systems in 2016, sought a deal that would enable it to focus on its core business.

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— Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor, Light Reading

About the Author(s)

Jeff Baumgartner

Senior Editor, Light Reading

Jeff Baumgartner is a Senior Editor for Light Reading and is responsible for the day-to-day news coverage and analysis of the cable and video sectors. Follow him on X and LinkedIn.

Baumgartner also served as Site Editor for Light Reading Cable from 2007-2013. In between his two stints at Light Reading, he led tech coverage for Multichannel News and was a regular contributor to Broadcasting + Cable. Baumgartner was named to the 2018 class of the Cable TV Pioneers.

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