CommScope acquires twin UK firms to expand wireless, small cell site offerings in Europe

July 11, 2014
CommScope has acquired two of the businesses of United Kingdom-based Alifabs Group.

CommScope (NASDAQ: COMM) announced that it has acquired two of the businesses of United Kingdom-based Alifabs Group to expand metro cell and small cell services and to provide additional support for European wireless operators as LTE network deployments accelerate.

In the transaction, CommScope Holding Company, Inc., a global provider of connectivity and essential infrastructure solutions for wireless, business enterprise and residential broadband networks, has acquired the Alifabs Cabinets & Ancillaries unit in Yorkshire, England, which is a market leader in the design, manufacture and supply of enclosures for the UK telecommunications, utility and energy markets, and the Alifabs Design & Construction business in Guildford, England, which is a leading supplier of a full range of cellular monopoles, smaller streetworks towers and tower solutions in the UK.

CommScope says the acquisition enables it to leverage Alifabs’ unique capabilities in supporting metro cell and small cell site acquisition and power and energy requirements as wireless operators throughout Europe transition to LTE networks and beyond. Combined with its long-time leadership and expertise in radio frequency solutions through the Andrew Solutions brand, CommScope says it expects the addition of the Alifabs businesses will help operators deal more effectively with the complexities and challenges of deploying advanced networks quickly and cost-efficiently.

See also: CommScope's small cell concealment platform designed to ease urban wireless deployments

“Cell sites throughout Europe vary with each operator’s needs and each local jurisdiction’s limitations and requirements,” commented Morgan Kurk, senior vice president and wireless segment leader, CommScope. “Alifabs has an outstanding track record in providing quick, dependable, customized solutions to those responsible for implementing operator networks. Alifabs will complement our efforts to help operators roll out LTE while continuing to manage and optimize their 2G and 3G networks. Together, we strive to solve the problems of multi-frequency, multi-technology networks quickly with minimal aesthetic impact.”

Alifabs was founded in 1957 and expanded into the telecom market in 1995, developing long-standing, deep relationships with all UK wireless operators through its unique services and custom design solutions for addressing cellular network requirements for power, planning and site acquisition. Alifabs managing director Richard Smith and his existing management team are joining CommScope and will operate the acquired businesses within CommScope’s wireless segment. Smith said this transaction will help Alifabs expand quickly beyond the UK through CommScope’s extensive presence in Europe and beyond, while maintaining its relationships and high level of support for existing UK operator customers.

“I am proud of our hard earned reputation for excellence and results that the team has achieved over the years,” added Smith. “Customers depend on us for innovative solutions such as thermal management, outdoor cabinets, monopoles and turnkey services to help them in planning and deploying network sites. We look forward to expanding on these capabilities and customer relationships as part of the CommScope team.”

The terms of the acquisition are not being disclosed. CommScope funded the acquisition from cash on hand. CommScope was advised by Pinsent Masons LLP (legal) and the shareholders of Alifabs were advised by Mayer Brown LLP (legal) and Livingstone Partners LLP (corporate finance).

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