838-mile Nebraska fiber network changes ownership, broadens customer scope

Unite Private Networks (UPN) announced an agreement with Zito Media for UPN to acquire an 838 route mile fiber-optic network covering southeast Nebraska and the transfer of certain customer contracts.

Unite Private Networks (UPN) announced an agreement with Zito Media for UPN to acquire an 838 route mile fiber-optic network covering southeast Nebraska and the transfer of certain customer contracts. UPN provides high-bandwidth, fiber-based communications networks and related services to schools, governments, carriers, data centers, hospitals, and enterprise business customers located in 18 states, primarily in the Midwestern U.S.

Zito’s fiber network is located throughout southeast Nebraska, with connectivity to UPN networks in the Omaha and Lincoln markets.

“This network was originally built to link together cable TV markets located throughout southeast Nebraska," explains James Rigas, CEO of Zito Media. "Over the years, we’ve been able to leverage the network to serve a base of larger customers with fiber-based services. This sale provides funding that we plan to redeploy to add additional cable TV markets and to expand our commercial business in other parts of the country."

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“The Zito fiber network fits nicely with UPN’s existing fiber network in Nebraska; it’s pretty much hand and glove," adds Ron Reckrodt, COO at UPN. "The networks are already interconnected and we’ve partnered with Zito in the past to provide services to multi-site customers. The integration will be seamless and will have no impact on existing customer service."

The transaction requires certain regulatory approvals and other consents and is expected to close during the 3rd Quarter of 2012. UPN is owned by Ridgemont Equity Partners, a Charlotte-based private equity firm, and UPN’s senior management. Debt financing for the transaction is being arranged by RBC Capital Markets and SunTrust Robinson Humphrey. RBC is acting as financial advisor and Alston & Bird LLP is acting as legal advisor to UPN.

“The acquisition of the Zito network and customers allows UPN to continue to add coverage and capabilities in the Nebraska market," ” states Kevin Anderson, UPN CEO. "Zito serves a diverse mix of school, government, carrier and enterprise customers, similar to UPN. It’s a natural fit for us to bring these networks together to continue to help fuel our growth."

The financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. For more information on UPN, visit www.upnllc.com.

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