Metro Connect 2017 takes place in less than a week down in sunny Miami at the Nobu Eden Roc Hotel. Attracting more than 530 leaders of the U.S. metro fiber market, we are anticipating that Metro Connect will be a great event for FirstLight in 2017.
What’s also exciting is that Kurt Van Wagenen, our President and CEO, will participate in a Metro Connect panel, “Looking Forward to 2017: The Latest in Mergers and Acquisitions,” which takes place on Tuesday, Jan. 31, from noon to 12:50 p.m. The discussion will cover a range of topics related to M&A, including a look back at the past year’s activity. Kurt will provide his take on how investments within the metro fiber space are evolving and how the profile of active buyers is changing. He will also discuss how a company can identify the right time to buy or sell and what the industry can expect heading into 2017. Kenny Gunderman, President and CEO of CS&L will sit on the panel as well, while James Henry, Senior MD, Bankstreet, will moderate.
Kurt is uniquely positioned to give his thoughts on the state of M&A. In July of 2016, Oak Hill Capital Partners (of which FirstLight is a portfolio company), announced its intention, to acquire Oxford Networks and then combine the operations of FirstLight and Oxford . On January 4, 2017, Oak Hill announced it successfully completed its acquisition of Oxford Networks, and combined the operations of Oxford with FirstLight. Together, the companies operate approximately 5,000 route miles of high-capacity fiber optic network, with ten data centers, throughout the Northeast. In August of 2016, Oak Hill Capital Partners also announced its intention to acquire Sovernet Communications, another leading fiber optic bandwidth infrastructure services provider operating in Vermont, New York and southwest New Hampshire.
“It was certainly a busy year for FirstLight, and I look forward to providing perspective on the ways our company benefitted and grew due to M&A activity in 2016,” says Kurt. “These acquisitions provided the scale and fiber density needed to continue to enhance our capabilities and provide the highest levels of service to the communities where we operate. We have expanded the reach of our network and capability, which has allowed us to provide high-quality broadband and fiber-based services to more businesses and carriers in our footprint.”