Berkshire Partners to lead $2 bln merger of Lightower, Sidera

NEW YORK Thu Dec 27, 2012 9:54am EST

NEW YORK Dec 27 (Reuters) - Boston investment firm Berkshire Partners has agreed to lead an acquisition and merger of enterprise telecommunications service providers Lightower Fiber Networks and Sidera Networks in a deal valued at more than $2 billion.

The combined company will operate fiber-based network services in the U.S. Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and Midwest regions. M/C Partners and Pamlico Capital acquired Lightower from National Grid Plc in August 2007.

Pamlico, a significant Lightower investor, and ABRY Partners, a significant Sidera investor, will retain investments in the combined company, which will be led by current Lightower CEO Rob Shanahan.

Current Lightower investors also include Ridgemont Equity Partners, and Sidera investors include Spectrum Equity Investors.

The merger, which requires regulatory approval, is expected to close in the second quarter.