PE-backed Lightower Fiber Networks Closes $230M Financing

Lightower Fiber Networks, the Boxborough, Mass.-based fiber network company backed by M/C Venture Partners, Pamlico Capital and Ridgemont Equity Partners, closed a $230 million senior secured credit facility with GE Capital Media. The facility, consisting of a $40 million revolver and a $190 million term loan, will go toward the company’s deal to buy Lexent Metro Connect. With PE backing, Lightower has made multiple acquisitions in recent years.

PRESS RELEASE:

GE Capital Media, Communications & Entertainment today announced that it will serve as Administrative Agent for a new $230MM senior secured credit facility for Lightower Fiber Networks, a leading fiber network and broadband service provider in the Northeast. GE Capital Markets served as lead left bookrunner on the transaction, which closed November 30, 2010.

“As a long-standing customer, we also appreciate their capital markets expertise in the middle market and the commitment GE Capital has provided during all market cycles.”
The facility was structured as a $40MM revolver and $190MM term loan, with a portion used by Lightower in the acquisition of Lexent Metro Connect, a leading provider of custom-built dark fiber networks.

“GE Capital understands the dynamics of the communications sector in general and the metro fiber space in particular,” said Rob Shanahan, President and CEO of Lightower Fiber Networks. “As a long-standing customer, we also appreciate their capital markets expertise in the middle market and the commitment GE Capital has provided during all market cycles.”

Lightower Fiber Networks, which is backed by M/C Venture Partners, Pamlico Capital, and Ridgemont Equity Partners, offers data transport and alternative access, with a network that encompasses 5,500-plus fiber route miles with access to over 2,100 buildings.

GE Capital has been Administrative Agent to Lightower since the initial acquisition of Lightower by MC Venture Partners and Pamlico Capital in August 2007.

“This is an industry clearly poised for long-term growth and Lightower’s position in the industry will only grow stronger,” said Mark Bernier, Managing Director and Communications Team Leader. “Our team recognizes the underlying value proposition for high-capacity bandwidth utilizing end-to-end fiber connectivity and our investment highlights our commitment to both Lightower and the overall industry.”

About GE Capital Media, Communications & Entertainment
GE Capital’s Media, Communications & Entertainment business is a global strategic partner to these industries and the technologies that enable them. We bring GE’s full resources and financial strength to each relationship, while delivering industry expertise and flexible financing solutions that maximize stakeholder value. For more information, visit gemce.com.

About GE Capital
GE Capital offers consumers and businesses around the globe an array of financial products and services. For more information, visit gecapital.com or follow company news via Twitter (@GECapital). GE (NYSE: GE) is a diversified infrastructure, finance and media company taking on the world’s toughest challenges. GE operates in more than 100 countries and employs about 300,000 people worldwide. For more information, visit ge.com.

About Lightower Fiber Networks
Lightower Fiber Networks is a leading fiber network and broadband service provider in the Northeast, offering over 5,500 fiber route miles coupled with comprehensive transport, alternative access, and nationwide long haul services. Lightower’s fiber footprint extends from New England, to eastern New York State, northern New Jersey, Long Island, and New York City. With access to over 2,100 buildings, Lightower offers unparalleled regional density, performance, scalability, security, and reliability in the Northeast. Lightower Fiber is headquartered in Boxborough, MA. For more information, visit lightower.com or call 888-LT-FIBER.