Reuters: Zayo Group in sales talks with investment firms

After months of rumors and tire-kicking by potential buyers, Zayo Group is in negotiations with a consortium of buyers, according to Reuters.   

A story Wednesday by Reuters reported that a consortium of investment firms, including Digital Colony Partners LP, EQT AB and Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners, has secured exclusive rights to negotiate a deal to buy Zayo. Reuters cited "people familiar with the matter" in its story.

Those unnamed sources weren't able to provide the exact about the investment firms are willing to pay for Zayo, but said the value could be between $8 billion and $9 billion, excluding $5.9 billion in debt, according to Reuters.

The deal could potentially be one of the biggest leveraged buyouts of the year. Last month, activist hedge fund Starboard Ventures disclosed it had a 4% stake in Zayo, and reportedly pressed Zayo to consider a sale, according to Reuters.

Boulder, Colo.-based Zayo provides fiber connections for the communications industry across the U.S., Canada and Europe. Zayo’s 130,000-mile network in North America and Europe includes metro connectivity to thousands of buildings and data centers.

RELATED: CenturyLink, Alphabet kick the tires on buying Zayo

In January, Bloomberg reported that CenturyLink and Alphabet were interested in acquiring Zayo. The company reportedlywas  targeted in November for a hostile takeover by Blackstone Group LP and Stonepeak Partners LP, according to Bloomberg

Zayo also announced last November that it was splitting into two publicly traded companies with one focused on communications infrastructure and the other on enterprise services, but in February, Zayo announced the split was off.

Zayo's shares opened at $29.48 this morning and then jumped to $31.74 before leveling off to $31.25 by noon.