Lumos completes sale to EQT, sets pace for network, service expansion

Lumos Networks has completed its sale to EQT Infrastructure for $950 million, a deal that ends its fiber network spinout plans with an eye toward expanding its existing fiber business.

Under the terms of the agreement, Lumos Networks stockholders are receiving $18 in cash for each share of Lumos Networks common stock they hold.

With the merger now completed, shares of Lumos Networks common stock were removed from listing on the NASDAQ Global Select Market, with trading in Lumos Networks shares suspended prior to the opening of business Friday.

RELATED: Lumos ends fiber spinout plans, sells to private equity firm EQT Infrastructure for $950M

Timothy Biltz, president and CEO of Lumos, said that EQT will enable the service provider to enhance its network and service presence.

“I, along with the rest of the Lumos team, am excited to begin to work with EQT Infrastructure to innovate and expand Lumos’ network, products and service offerings to our customers,” Biltz said in a release.  

Wells Fargo Securities, LLC and UBS Investment Bank served as co-financial advisors to Lumos Networks in connection with the transaction. Troutman Sanders LLP and Lawler, Metzger, Keeny and Logan, LLC served as legal advisors to Lumos Networks in connection with this transaction. Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC acted as exclusive financial advisor to EQT Infrastructure, and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP and Morgan, Lewis, & Bockius LLP served as legal advisors to EQT Infrastructure.

Lumos announced last November that it would work to become a pure-play fiber provider by spinning out its fiber business. As part of that effort, the company said it had hired UBS Investment Bank to help it search for a possible buyer for the company's regulated Local Exchange Carrier (LEC) assets.

But EQT’s acquisition of Lumos, of both its fiber and its LEC assets, ends that effort.

The service provider has become a sizable fiber player in the Mid-Atlantic region serving Carrier, Enterprise and Data Center customers. It offers connectivity in 26 markets in Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Ohio and Kentucky.

With a fiber network of 11,028 fiber route miles and 517,244 total fiber strand miles, Lumos Networks connects 1,310 unique Fiber to the Cell sites, 1,684 total FTTC connections, 2,230 on-net buildings and over 3,500 total on-net locations.

EQT has been active on the fiber consolidation front itself. Besides acquiring Lumos, the equity firm also purchased a large stake in regional provider Spirit Communications

The equity firm also is active in Europe, purchasing Netherlands-based CAIW and its network operator CIF from Rabo Bouwfonds CIF, for example. 

It has been an active period for fiber network sales and acquisitions.

Earlier this month, CenturyLink completed its acquisition of Level 3 while Consolidated Communications wrapped its acquisition of FairPoint Communications, highlighting the importance of fiber assets.