FirstLight to acquire KINBER assets

Sept. 22, 2020
Transaction builds on FirstLight’s recent network expansion into Pennsylvania, and will enable FirstLight to provide fiber-based broadband services to more entities throughout the commonwealth.

FirstLight, a provider of fiber-optic data, Internet, data center, cloud and voice services to enterprise and carrier customers throughout the Northeast and mid-Atlantic, announced on Sep. 15 that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire substantially all of the assets, including the fiber network and related customer contracts, of the Keystone Initiative for Network Based Education and Research (KINBER).

“Over the past 10 years, KINBER has become the premier research and education fiber network that delivers connectivity to underserved and unserved areas of Pennsylvania,” said KINBER President and CEO Nathan Flood. “Through our 1,800-route mile network across 47 counties, KINBER has been able to provide the critical infrastructure to research, education and community institutions. As we look toward the next chapter, we’re excited to see the expansion and growth opportunities that FirstLight will create.”

When the transaction with FirstLight is complete, KINBER will be continuing its work providing research and education connectivity, investing in underserved and unserved communities, and positioning Pennsylvania to be a leader in broadband and broadband technology. As stated by a FirstLight press release, "FirstLight looks forward to seamlessly providing critical communications services to KINBER’s customers. Additionally, post transaction, FirstLight will support KINBER’s networking needs."

Kurt Van Wagenen, President and CEO of FirstLight Fiber, commented, “Acquiring the KINBER network is very exciting for FirstLight. It builds upon our recent expansion in the eastern part of the state and will enable us to offer fiber-based broadband services to more organizations throughout the commonwealth. We are impressed with what KINBER has been able to accomplish since its inception and hope to build upon its achievements by continuing to ensure that more areas in Pennsylvania have the broadband connectivity needed to thrive in the digital age.”

RBC Capital Markets LLC served as financial advisor to KINBER in connection with this transaction. Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP served as legal counsel to FirstLight. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2020, following the satisfaction of regulatory approvals. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Learn more about the transaction.