Irish-based Hibernia Networks snapped up by GTT for $590m

11 Nov 2016

Fibre optic cables. Image: rzoze19/Shutterstock

Hibernia Networks – with one of the largest fibre broadband presences in Ireland – has revealed it is to be sold to major cloud provider GTT for a sum of $590m.

The US-owned Hibernia Networks has played a considerable role in Ireland’s broadband infrastructure over the past few years, but particularly since it brought ashore its Tier 1 Express fibre cable to Cork, connecting the city with vital digital and financial markets in the US and UK.

The month prior to this announcement in 2014, the company established a major point of presence for its international network at the TelecityGroup data centre in north Dublin.

The company’s founder and director of the board, Ken Peterson, has had a long connection with Ireland. He first made business moves here in 2003, when he bought 360 Networks and renamed it Hibernia Atlantic (now Hibernia Networks). The following year, he founded the broadband provider Magnet Networks.

Now the wider Hibernia Networks company, spanning 25 countries, is about to undergo one of its biggest changes to date – with news that it is to be acquired by major cloud provider GTT for a sum of $590m.

Similar to Hibernia Networks, GTT runs its own Tier 1 network across the globe, with a focus on providing cloud services to any point in the world. This includes wide-area networking, internet, managed services and voice services.

What acquisition will mean

GTT has said the acquisition will expand the company’s cloud networking portfolio while tapping into a world-class video transport platform. This will service content rights holders, broadcasters, cable companies and over-the-top content providers.

The financials of the deal have been revealed to include $515m in cash and approximately 3.3m shares of GTT common stock, to be issued to the sellers at closing, valued at $75m.

Subject to regulatory approvals, both companies expect to close the deal by the end of the first quarter of 2017.

“This acquisition accelerates GTT’s growth strategy by expanding our portfolio of cloud networking services, significantly increasing the scope and power of our global network, and growing our multinational client base,” said Rick Calder, GTT president and CEO.

“Hibernia Networks has a demonstrated track record of growth, and brings unique, strategic network assets featuring high-bandwidth, low latency connectivity. We are very excited to welcome Hibernia Networks’ clients and talented team members to GTT.”

Updated, 4.50pm, 11 November 2016: This article was amended to clarify that Peterson acquired Hibernia Atlantic in 2003, before the launch of Magnet Networks in 2004.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic