Uniti Group to Buy Southern Light LLC in $700M Deal

Uniti Group to Buy Southern Light LLC in $700M Deal

Uniti Group Inc. of Little Rock announced Monday that it has agreed to acquire privately-held fiber network provider Southern Light LLC of Mobile, Alabama, for about $700 million in cash and equity.

"This acquisition transforms Uniti Fiber into a more competitive provider of fiber infrastructure solutions," Kenny Gunderman, Uniti's president and CEO, said in a news release. "Southern Light scales our products and capacity with wireless carriers, enterprise, wholesale, and E-Rate customers across a significantly expanded Uniti Fiber network, and launches us into the important military sector."

The company provides data transport services along the Gulf Coast, serving 12 markets across Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia and Mississippi. Its dense regional fiber network comprises nearly 540,000 fiber strand miles, 5,700 fiber route miles and more than 4,500 on-net locations.  

Uniti (Nasdaq: UNIT) said the Southern Light transaction, along with its recent purchase of Hunt Telecommunications LLC, will double Uniti Fiber's operational network to more than 1 million fiber strand miles and increase its aggregate strand miles to more than 4.8 million.  

Southern Light's infrastructure includes fiber-to-the-tower backhaul, dark fiber and small cells, and it is currently deploying nearly 1,000 route miles of dark fiber for "a major wireless carrier," the company said.

The deal is expected to close during the third quarter.

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