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GTT Acquires ACI for Managed Services, VoIP, Colocation Expertise

GTT CEO Michael Garbe
ACI President and Founder Michael Garbe

Global cloud networking provider GTT Communications has extended its footprint into Canada by acquiring Accelerated Connections (ACI).

The Toronto-based ACI offers managed networking, voice-over-IP (VoIP), and colocation services to large, distributed Canadian enterprises.

GTT says the deal creates one of the largest non-incumbent network footprints in the Canadian market while extending GTT’s presence and network assets into Canada. That will include its landing station for GTT Express, the low-latency transatlantic cable system it gained when the company acquired Hibernia Networks in early 2017.

This latest deal will also add strategic clients in key vertical markets, including hospitality, retail, and financial services, the company asserts.

ACI’s President Michael Garbe says the combined companies create a disruptive competitor in the Canadian market and that he expects a rapid and smooth integration over the coming months. The exact financial terms of the acquisition won't be disclosed until GTT’s first quarter 2018 results, which is in line with the company’s practice for smaller acquisitions.

GTT Merger and Acquisition History

This deal comes just week’s after GTT acquired Interoute, Europe’s largest independent fiber network and cloud networking platform, for around $2.3 billion in cash. That was GTT’s last large-scale M&A deal for the foreseeable future, the company’s president and CEO Rick Calder asserted at the time.

GTT has a long history of buying up regional providers. Already this year, the purchased Amsterdam-based Custom Connect, expanding its IP network in Europe and the Middle East. Last year, the company bought managed data and voice services provider Transbeam for $28 million in cash, growing its footprint throughout the Northeast Corridor. Prior to that, GTT acquired high-speed network connectivity provider Perseus. That deal grew its network in Latin America, the Asia-Pacific region, India, and Africa.

On the higher end of the acquisition scale was GTT’s purchase of Global Capacity, a cloud networking provider to multinational clients.

But the biggest deal was the aforementioned purchase of Hibernia Networks in early 2017. That deal included the addition of five transatlantic subsea cables and eight landing stations. All of the subsequent acquisitions fall in line with the GTT’s strategy. At the time of the Hibernia purchase, Rick Calder, CEO of GTT, said it was a “funnel” for more than 50 possible M&A deals. It’s unclear how many possible deals GTT has left to make, but the year is young.

Networking Deals

M&A activity in the data center and network infrastructure sectors was at record highs last year, according to Synergy Research Group. That activity appears to be continuing into 2018.
Among the recent deals we’ve tracked: