Fiber consolidation: ZenFi Networks and Cross River Fiber merge

ZenFi and Cross River combine fiber holdings in New York, New Jersey

The continued evolution of LTE, 5G, massive internet of things, autonomous driving–these are all technologies heavily dependent on robust, reliable wireless networks. In turn, these dense wireless networks are supported by increasingly dense fiber networks. To put that another way, you can’t have wireless without wires. As these emerging technologies take shape, two major fiber players in tri-state area, ZenFi Networks and Cross River Fiber announced this week a definitive merger agreement.
The two companies, supported by Ridgemont Equity Partners and Bank Street Group LLC, did not disclose further details of the April 24 transaction, which is pending customary regulatory reviews. The deal is expected to close this year. The combined company has some 700 route miles of fiber, 130 connected buildings, 49 colocation facilities, 1,700 outdoor wireless locations and another 3,000 under contract.
Discussing the merger, ZenFi CEO Ray LaChance highlighted the role fiber plays in supporting not only service providers, but also enterprise interests. This “allows us to scale our communications infrastructure portfolio across the region, providing a robust fiber and colocation platform enabling the deployment of a wide range of digital services…The combination enhances our network reach, deepens our product portfolio and delivers a next generation network infrastructure that is the foundation of tomorrow’s communications networks.”
LaChance also said the capital provided by Ridgemont will enable the new company “access to additional capital to continue to deliver on our vision of building the most pervasive and high capacity connectivity platform in the region.”
Vincenzo Clemente, Cross River Fiber CEO, said the merger is a natural evolution as “We’re both builders and owners of purpose-built fiber optic networks and wireless infrastructure–and together we will provide that cutting-edge network architecture of both fiber and wireless services to an even bigger customer base.”

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