MetroNet, a fiber broadband operator primarily in the Midwest, and Vexus Fiber, a fiber broadband provider in Texas, Louisiana, and New Mexico, today announced a merger which will create a combined company with a fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) network that serves 150+ communities across 15 states. Notably, both MetroNet and Vexus Fiber are backed by Oak Hill Capital, a private equity firm. Additionally, MetroNet is part-owned by KKR, a private equity firm, while Vexus Fiber has investment from Pamlico Capital, another private equity firm.
Post-merger, MetroNet and Vexus Fiber will continue to operate under their current brands with their existing leadership teams.
MetroNet and Vexus Fiber – Oak Hill, KKR, Pamlico Back Growth
MetroNet and Vexus Fiber’s merger allows the combined company to rapidly expand its service area to more homes and businesses across the United States. Specifically, both companies build and operate fiber optic networks with symmetrical speeds of 1 gigabit or higher, serving residential and business customers.
MetroNet is an Evansville, Indiana-headquartered fiber infrastructure company whose services include fiber broadband internet, fiber phone, and fiber IPTV. The company serves or is constructing fiber networks that pass more than 1 million people in 120+ communities across Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, Texas, Wisconsin, and Missouri.
Presently, MetroNet’s fiber network traverses 39k+ route miles and the company is constructing 5k+ miles per year.
Finally, MetroNet is led by John Cinelli as Chief Executive Officer.
MetroNet Holdings, LLC is owned by the following investors:
- Oak Hill Capital: ownership through its Oak Hill Capital Partners V (OHCP V) fund and Limited Partner (LP) co-investors
- KKR: ownership through its KKR Global Infrastructure Investors III and KKR Global Infrastructure Investors IV funds
- Cinelli Investors: primarily John Cinelli
Vexus Fiber is a Lubbock, Texas-headquartered fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) network operator which offers internet connectivity, video, voice, and TeleCloud services. The company serves residential and business customers in Texas, Louisiana, and New Mexico.
Vexus Fiber is led by Jim Gleason as President and Chief Executive Officer.
Initially, in 2014, the company was formed under the brand Vast Broadband by purchasing cable systems in South Dakota. Subsequently, in 2019, Vast Broadband acquired NTS Communications, at which time Oak Hill Capital and Pamlico Capital led a recapitalization of the company. Then, in 2021, the company’s South Dakota systems were divested to GI Partners and the remaining operations in Texas were re-branded as Vexus Fiber.
Vexus Fiber operates a fiber network spanning 2.7k+ owned route miles, which passes 60k+ homes and businesses (as of September 2019). Geographically, the company operates fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) networks in 35 cities across Texas and Southeastern Louisiana, including:
- Texas: Lubbock, Amarillo, Wichita Falls, Abilene, and surrounding areas
- Louisiana: Hammond, Covington, and Mandeville
Additionally, Vexus Fiber is building new networks and expanding in the following markets of Texas, Louisiana, and New Mexico:
- Texas: Laredo (70k+ passings, $80m investment), Tyler (40k+ passings, $50m investment), Nacogdoches (15k+ passings, $20m investment), and San Angelo (35k+ passings)
- Louisiana: Lake Charles, Sulphur, and Westlake (collectively 40k+ passings, $50m investment)
- New Mexico: Albuquerque ($250m investment) and Santa Fe ($35m investment)
NTS Communications, LLC (d/b/a Vexus) is owned by the following investors:
- Oak Hill Capital: ownership through its Oak Hill Capital Partners IV (OHCP IV) fund
- Pamlico Capital: ownership through its Pamlico Capital IV (PC IV) fund