ZenFi Networks and Cross River Fiber have announced the signing of a definitive merger agreement, which upon closing will create the leading communications infrastructure provider in the New York and New Jersey metro areas with more than 700 route miles of fiber optic network, 130 on-net buildings, 49 colocation facilities and 1,700 outdoor wireless locations with more than 3,000 under contract. The current ZenFi Networks and Cross River management teams will continue to lead the combined company with the support of Ridgemont Equity Partners, a middle market private equity firm and majority shareholder of Cross River Fiber. The merger is set to close later this year, pending customary regulatory approvals. No other terms of the transaction are being disclosed.
“The merger of ZenFi Networks and Cross River Fiber allows us to scale our communications infrastructure portfolio across the region, providing a robust fiber and colocation platform enabling the deployment of a wide range of digital services by mobile network operators, telecommunications service providers and large enterprises,” says Ray LaChance, CEO, ZenFi Networks. “The combination enhances our network reach, deepens our product portfolio, and delivers a next generation network infrastructure that is the foundation of tomorrow’s communications networks. In addition, our partnership with Ridgemont Equity Partners further strengthens ZenFi Network’s financial position by providing access to additional capital to continue to deliver on our vision of building the most pervasive and high capacity connectivity platform in the region.
“While both companies have achieved great success to date, as a combined business, our geographic footprint and product capabilities are greatly expanded,” says Vincenzo Clemente, CEO, Cross River Fiber. “We can now offer custom telecommunications solutions in New York, New Jersey and beyond to more wireless mobility, carrier and enterprise customers than ever before. Our teams are cut from the same cloth — we’re both builders and owners of purpose-built fiber optic networks and wireless infrastructure — and together we will provide that cutting-edge network architecture of both fiber and wireless services to an even bigger customer base.”
“Ridgemont Equity Partners originally partnered with Cross River Fiber in 2014 to help grow its network and expand its customer base alongside a talented management team,” says George Morgan, partner at Ridgemont Equity Partners. “We have known the ZenFi Networks management team for many years and are thrilled that the companies are joining forces. The merger is a natural progression for both ZenFi Networks and Cross River Fiber as the companies have complementary markets and service offerings. This new partnership with ZenFi Networks marks the start of an exciting chapter of expansion and innovation and we are very pleased to remain actively involved in this next stage of growth.”
Bank Street Group LLC served as exclusive financial advisor to both ZenFi Networks and Cross River Fiber in connection with this transaction. Webster Bank and CoBank will provide debt financing for the merger with additional capacity to support future growth.