Monday, August 21, 2017


Oak Hill Capital Partners merges FirstLight Fiber with Sovernet Communications to form a 225,000 sqf data centre operator



This is the group’s third main investment into FirstLight this year alone.

Oak Hill Capital Partners has finalised the acquisition of Sovernet Communications and has announced the intention to merge the company with its fiber business FirstLight Fiber.

The acquisition will combine Sovernet’s high-capacity network transport, broadband Internet, data centre and voice services in Vermont and New York with FirstLight’s complete portfolio of data, Internet, data centre, cloud and voice services, backed by highly responsive, locally-based customer support.

Sovernet’s portfolio will add to the FirstLight infrastructure footprint approximately 3,300 fiber route miles across New York, 1,300 fiber route miles throughout Vermont, and a Tier III data centre in Burlington, Vermont.

The acquisition of Sovernet is Oak Hill Capital Partners’ second main investment into expanding FirstLight’s portfolio with more to come.

In January, the company acquired Oxford Networks and recently it has announced the acquisition of Finger Lakes Technologies Group.

Financial details have not been disclosed for any of the three transactions.

With the merger of the Sovernet, Oxford Networks and Finger Lakes Technologies, FirstLight will soon operate a regional network consisting of approximately 12,000 route miles of high-capacity fiber in six states and Canada, with more than 7,000 on-net locations and 12 data centres totalling more than 225,000 square feet of space.

Scott Baker and Benjy Diesbach, Partners at Oak Hill and members of the FirstLight Board of Directors, said: “The acquisition of Sovernet, combined with the recent Oxford and Finger Lakes transactions, is strategically significant and demonstrates FirstLight and Oak Hill’s shared vision of creating the most extensive fiber-based communications services provider operating in the Northeast.”

Kurt Van Wagenen, President and CEO of FirstLight, said: “The successful acquisition of Sovernet, which includes its New York ION network, substantially increases our fiber density and reach allowing us to better serve our existing customers while expanding into new markets as well.”

Q Advisors LLC served as financial advisor to ATN International, Inc., the parent company of Sovernet, and Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo, PC acted as legal counsel. Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP served as legal counsel to FirstLight and Oak Hill.