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Lightower Fiber Networks to be acquired in a $7.1 billion deal

Lightower Fiber Networks has agreed to be acquired by Crown Castle International Corp. for roughly $7.1 billion in cash, officials said. The deal is expected to close by the end of 2017.

Lightower currently has 990 employees, including 200 in Rochester—the second-largest office of the firm. All Lightower employees are expected to remain with the company once the deal closes, officials said. Lightower acquired Rochester-based Fibertech Networks in a $1.9 billion all-cash merger in 2015.

The deal effectively will double Crown Castle’s fiber footprint with over 60,000 route miles of fiber network. The combined company will have some 40,000 towers and 50,000 small cell nodes on air or under development , officials said.

Lightower customers will now have access to new markets including ones in Miami, Tampa, Atlanta, Houston, Dallas, Los Angeles and other areas of Southern California.

“We are excited about the addition of Lightower given its attractive fiber footprint and the value we believe it will create for our shareholders,” said Jay Brown, Crown Castle’s CEO in a statement.  “Lightower’s dense fiber footprint is well-located in top metro markets in the Northeast and is well-positioned to facilitate small cell deployments by our customers.”

Follow Kerry Feltner on Twitter: @KerryFeltner

(c) 2017 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-363-7269 or email [email protected].

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