Sweden’s EQT buys US carrier Lumos for $950m

Sweden’s EQT buys US carrier Lumos for $950m

Swedish investor EQT is to buy Virginia fibre carrier and data centre operator Lumos Networks for $950 million.

Under the terms of the deal EQT Infrastructure will acquire all of Nasdaq-quoted Lumos’s stock at a price that is 15% above the closing price last Friday.

“Our board of directors concluded, after a thorough review of the strategic alternatives, that the sale of Lumos Networks to EQT Infrastructure was in the best interests of Lumos Networks and its shareholders,” said Robert Guth, chairman of the board of Lumos Networks.

“I am pleased to announce this transaction and the beginning of the partnership between Lumos Networks and EQT Infrastructure in order to capitalise on the market opportunities ahead of us in the US communications infrastructure market.”

EQT, based in Stockholm, has invested €17 billion in 150 companies and has made 70 exits. Investor AB, the giant Swedish investment company that has a major stake in Ericsson, is a minority shareholder.

Jan Vesely, director at investment advisor EQT Partners, said that EQT had “been impressed by the company’s strategic vision and execution since it became a public company in 2011”.

Lumos is a fibre service provider in the US Mid-Atlantic region serving carrier, enterprise and data centre customers, offering end-to-end connectivity in 24 markets in Virginia, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland, Ohio and Kentucky.

It operates 9,204 route miles (14,812km) of fibre and connects 1,297 mobile base stations and 36 data centres including seven colocation facilities owned by Lumos itself. It also provides consumer and enterprise fibre connections.

With a fiber network of 9,204 fiber route miles and 475,507 total fiber strand miles, Lumos Networks connects 1,297 unique Fiber to the Cell sites, 1,642 total FTTC connections, 36 data centers, including 7 company owned co-location facilities, 1,984 on-net buildings and approximately 3

Vesely said: “We look forward to working collaboratively with Lumos Networks’ team and to drawing upon EQT’s deep expertise in the telecommunications and fibre sector in support of the company’s growth and expansion.”

Lumos CEO Timothy Blitz welcomed the deal. “Since my tenure of CEO began in April of 2012, Lumos has achieved an annualised shareholder return of nearly 19%, during which time we transformed into an industry leading fibre-based bandwidth infrastructure services company.”

He added: “I look forward to working with EQT Infrastructure, who fully supports our laser-focused customer-first approach, as Lumos continues to innovate and expand its network, products and service offerings to our customers.”

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