Another Big Acquisition in Bandwidth Infrastructure–Crown Castle to Buy Lightower
Another big acquisition in the bandwidth infrastructure space happened yesterday, with the announcement of the merger of two Cloudnexion partners. Tower operator Crown Castle announced they will acquire Lightower Fiber Networks for $7.1 billion. This acquisition could put Crown Castle–already the nation’s largest provider of shared wireless infrastructure–at a huge competitive advantage, given that they already own 40,000 cell towers and 29,000 route miles of fiber. Lightower’s footprint will more than double Crown Castle’s fiber asset route miles, and bring them into major cities in the Northeast including New York, Boston, and Philadelphia. This positions them to supply increased coverage and capacity for an ever-increasing demand–coverage and capacity that Cloudnexion can help you tap in to.
The question is, will the combined entities be able to quickly integrate, mobilize, and capitalize on these assets to compete for Enterprise, Content, and Government business in the 100 US Markets that they provide service in today? Crown Castle’s CEO Jay Brown thinks so. Between the two companies, they already serve 23 of the top 25 metro markets, and Brown speculates “We expect the Transaction to be immediately accretive to our AFFO per share and long-term dividend growth and, as a result, anticipate increasing our annual common stock dividend rate, subject to approval by our board of directors, between $0.15 and $0.20 per share following the closing of the Transaction.”