Birch Communications, a leading IP-based communications and cloud services provider to small- and medium-sized businesses, announced today that it has signed an asset purchase agreement to acquire select customer and network assets from Lightyear Network Solutions, Inc. ("Lightyear").
Lightyear, which is currently traded under the symbol LYNS, is an established provider of data, voice and wireless telecommunication services to business and residential customers throughout North America. This transaction marks the 18th acquisition for Birch since 2006, and is expected to close in the third quarter of this year.
"This acquisition strengthens the breadth and scope of the Birch IP-Network. Lightyear's Metaswitch-based facilities network, Hosted-PBX offering, and switching center in Lexington, Ky., complement our current business operations," said Vincent M. Oddo, Birch president and CEO. "In addition, several new markets within Kentucky will be added to our network footprint which will expand our overall Birch IP-Network to 11 states. Following this acquisition, Birch will be providing service to customers in all 50 states and the District of Columbia."
"The addition of these assets, which are natural extensions to our current Birch products and services, greatly enhance our Hosted PBX, SIP trunking, VoIP-based services and Carrier Services (wholesale) product offerings," said Chris Aversano, Birch chief operating officer. "We also look forward with great enthusiasm to welcoming the Lightyear customers, employees and dealers into our Birch family and introducing them to our award-winning customer care team, as well as our expanding portfolio of IP-based services."
"Birch is a solid and well respected company, with a real focus on customer service," said Steve Lochmueller, CEO of Lightyear Network Solutions. "The combination of Birch's network, award winning customer support and financial strength will give our customers options to satisfy all of their communication needs."
The proposed transaction is subject to Lightyear shareholder approval, customary regulatory approvals, and other closing conditions.
Vik Grover, CFA and Senior Managing Director for Source Capital Group, Inc. is serving as an advisor to Birch during this acquisition process.
When asked about working with our Network Marketing channel, Christopher Ramsey, SVP – Chief Sales & Marketing Officer for Birch Communications said, “Everyone here at Birch is excited about the Network Marketing Distribution Channel currently operating inside of Lightyear.
Our Company is committed to working with all the Lightyear Wireless Independent Representatives to continue their great success and take the wireless business opportunity they offer people to the next level.
Birch has a lot of experience working with Independent Sales Channels and we are looking forward to adding Network Marketing as a new and unique way of distributing Birch products and services.”
We will continue to update you on our progress over the next few months. The most important thing to understand is that this is a positive outcome and will create even greater opportunity for every Lightyear Wireless Representative
About Birch Communications
Headquartered in Atlanta, Ga., Birch Communications provides IP-based communications and cloud services to small and medium-sized businesses in select metropolitan areas across the United States. Birch services include: local and long distance voice, broadband Internet access, T1, PRI, bonded T1, PRI & DSL, SIP trunking, hosted PBX, wireless voice and data, hosted e-mail & applications, voicemail, and many other communications and cloud services. Birch voice and broadband services are, in most cases, delivered using Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology on the Company's secure IP-Network rather than over the public Internet.
According to Inc. 500|5000 magazine in its 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009 and 2004 rankings, Birch is one of the fastest-growing private companies in the United States. In 2010, Birch was also named the 7th fastest growing private business in Atlanta, and in 2011 as one of the Top 100 Private Companies in Atlanta, by the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Please visit www.birch.com for more information.
About Lightyear Network Solutions, Inc.
Through its wholly owned subsidiaries, Lightyear Network Solutions, Inc. provides telecommunication services to large, medium and small businesses and to residential consumers throughout North America. Lightyear's product offerings include local PRI and digital T1, enhanced Internet services, MPLS, Ethernet, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), local and long distance service, and conferencing. Lightyear also offers wireless services to customers in the U.S. through wholesale contracts with multiple wireless providers. Lightyear built its own VoIP network in 2004 to enhance its product offerings and has partnered with some of the most prominent names in telecom including: Sprint, Verizon, AT&T, Level 3, Windstream, CenturyLink, tw telecom, XO Communication and Cisco. Lightyear Network Solutions, Inc. is headquartered in Louisville, Ky. Additional information can be found at: www.lightyear.net.
About Source Capital Group, Inc.
Source Capital Group, Inc. is a boutique investment bank based in Westport, CT focused on emerging growth companies involved in the Communications, Internet, Digital Media, Energy, and Clean Tech industries.