Private equity, Channel investors, Content

ZenFi Networks, Cross River Merging Fiber, Colocation Data Center Businesses

Cross River CEO Vincenzo Clemente
Cross River CEO Vincenzo Clemente
Zenfi Networks CEO Ray LaChance

ZenFi Networks and Cross River Fiber are merging to create a "leading communications infrastructure provider" that offers fiber and colocation services in the New York and New Jersey metro areas, the two companies confirmed today.

Together, the combined companies will have  700 route miles of fiber optic network, 130 on-net buildings, 49 colocation facilities and 1,700 outdoor wireless locations with more than 3,000 customers under contract, the companies say.

Private equity firm Ridgemont Equity Partners is involved in the deal, while Webster Bank and CoBank will provide debt financing for the merger, with additional capacity to support future growth. However, specific financial terms were not disclosed.

ZenFi and Cross River are quite familiar with each other. The two company inked a partnership in January 2017 to introduced ZenCross Connect, a self-service portal for ordering bandwidth between data centers and colocation facilities in the New York/New Jersey metro area.

Looking Ahead

The current ZenFi Networks and Cross River management teams will lead the combined company, according to the deal announcement, though actual executive titles for the combined firm were not publicly announced. At present, Ray LaChance is CEO of ZenFi, and Vincenzo Clemente is CEO of Cross River Fiber. The deal is expected to close later this year.

In a prepared statement, LaChance said:

“The merger of ZenFi Networks and Cross River Fiber allows us to scale our communications infrastructure portfolio across the region, providing a robust fiber and colocation platform enabling the deployment of a wide range of digital services by mobile network operators, telecommunications service providers and large enterprises. The combination enhances our network reach, deepens our product portfolio, and delivers a next generation network infrastructure that is the foundation of tomorrow’s communications networks. In addition, our partnership with Ridgemont Equity Partners further strengthens ZenFi Network’s financial position by providing access to additional capital to continue to deliver on our vision of building the most pervasive and high capacity connectivity platform in the region."

Added Clemente:

“While both companies have achieved great success to date, as a combined business, our geographic footprint and product capabilities are greatly expanded. We can now offer custom telecommunications solutions in New York, New Jersey and beyond to more wireless mobility, carrier and enterprise customers than ever before. Our teams are cut from the same cloth – we’re both builders and owners of purpose-built fiber optic networks and wireless infrastructure – and together we will provide that cutting-edge network architecture of both fiber and wireless services to an even bigger customer base.”

Data Center Mergers, Acquisitions

This is the latest in a growing list of M&A and funding deals involving network and data center providers. Additional deals we've been tracking include:

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.