'Last mile' provider expands into new markets

'Last mile' provider expands into new markets

Lite King Corp., a provider of ''last mile'' optical fiber cable plant design and installation services, and CT-Innovations, a midwest regional provider of convergence technology solutions, have formed a strategic alliance.

New York-based Lite King made the acquisition through its wholly owned-subsidiary, National Cabling Services, Inc. The company provides optical-fiber cable plant design and installation services for Fortune 500 companies.

The alliance is part of the Lite King's aggressive acquisition campaign, which will add sites to its existing optical fiber installation and maintenance service locations.

Lite King is expanding into Indiana and southern Illinois, where it now has branch offices, and Missouri, Arkansas, Texas, Colorado and Arizona.

The company is planning to acquire existing local optical fiber cable plant installation and maintenance companies in those markets, or open new branch offices. In most cases, the acquisitions will be accomplished through asset-purchases using common stock and hiring the acquisition candidate's employees.

"This is the right time to do it," says Eric Stevenson, president of the corporate development firm Axiom Capital, which oversaw the acquisition. "It's like buying a house. You buy when the market is down, not up."

In those markets where acquisitions could not be achieved, the company will open new branch offices and hire local technicians to service its customers.

Through the alliance, CT-Innovations will use Lite King's services to fulfill cabling installation for its customers where needed throughout the midwest. Both CT-Innovations and Lite King have locations within the region, making it possible to quickly fulfill CT-Innovations' installation orders.

"That is a serious spot to be in when you look at the growth area for communications installation in the last-mile perspective," says Stevenson. "That segment of the industry (last mile) showed a 30% growth rate over the last five years, but nobody bothered to wire the buildings-just the backbones. If you take that in itself, there will be continuing growth demand."

CT-Innovations announced a partner agreement with Alcatel last March to sell and service its Omni PCX 4400 next-generation IP-based PBX and family of Omni data products to enterprise customers. The partnership has offered CT-Innovations an ability to broaden its market to both large- and mid-sized businesses.

-Brian Milligan

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