GTT strikes third acquisition of 2018 with deal for Canada's ACI

12 March 2018 | James Pearce


GTT Communications' acquisition spree is set to continue after the network provider announced a deal to buy Canadian managed networking and services provider Accelerated Connections (ACI) for an undisclosed fee.

Rick Calder, GTTACI, which is headquartered in Toronto, serves more than 1,600 enterprises in Canada, operating a national network and two data centre facilities. Services it offers include colocation, hosted VoIP and managed network service.

GTT said the acquisition – the third it has announced in 2017 alone – will help create one of the largest non-incumbent footprints in the Canadian market and significantly extend the company’s presence in Canada.

It will also add a number of new services to GTT’s cloud networking service portfolio, while bringing in additional strategic clients in what GTT identifies as key vertical markets such as hospitality, retail, and financial services.

“The combination of ACI and GTT creates a disruptive competitor in the Canadian market,” said Michael Garbe, ACI CEO. “Customers will benefit from access to GTT’s Tier 1 IP network, comprehensive service portfolio, global reach and deep experience in connectivity and managed services. We expect a rapid and smooth integration over the coming months.”

GTT said it will not disclose the value of the deal until it publishes its first quarter 2018 financial results – a practice it carries out for “smaller acquisitions”.

Already this year GTT has unveiled plans to buy Interoute for $2.3 billion and Amsterdam-based high-speed network connectivity provider Custom Connect. These deals followed from the acquisitions of Hibernia Networks, Perseus, Global Capacity, and Transbeam last year.

Following the announcement of the Interoute deal last week, GTT CEO Rick Calder said the company’s ‘M&A funnel’ was still open to small and potentially non-material deals. However he said he expects the Interoute deal to be the last large-scale M&A activity from GTT for a while.

On the ACI deal, Calder pointed to the continuing expansion of GTT’s global presence, which includes a Tier 1 IP network, as a key consideration behind this latest move.

“ACI’s deep experience in delivering cloud networking services to distributed enterprises in Canada significantly expands GTT’s global presence,” said Calder. “This acquisition demonstrates our commitment to invest in assets and capabilities that enable us to deliver on our purpose of connecting people across organizations and around the world.”

Recently, GTT was named a new entrant on the challenge tier of Vertical Systems Group’s latest leaderboard of US Ethernet market-leaders.