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Telco distribution center (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

GTT Paying $2.3 Billion for Interoute's Europe Fiber Network, Data Centers

Deal gives U.S. company one of region’s biggest fiber networks. Purchase price tops what insiders said company may be worth.

Jessica Brice and Scott Moritz (Bloomberg) -- GTT Communications Inc. agreed to acquire Interoute Communications Ltd. for 1.9 billion euros ($2.3 billion) in cash to gain control of one of the largest independent fiber and cloud-networking platforms in Europe.

The acquisition gives McLean, Virginia-based GTT about 72,000 fiber-route kilometers (44,738 miles), spanning 29 countries, according a statement Monday. GTT also picks up 15 data centers, boosting its cloud storage and data-exchange holdings in Europe.

The purchase price tops the 1.65 billion-euro value that insiders estimated Interoute could be worth in October. Demand for more fiber-optic network capacity has surged as consumers watch more live sports and shows on their phones. And with the upcoming shift to fifth-generation, or 5G, wireless networks in the coming years, the boost in data traffic will make fiber even more critical.

Interoute’s clients include BT Group Plc, Vodafone Group Plc and AT&T Inc. The Sandoz Family Foundation controls the company with 70 percent, while Aleph Capital and Crestview Partners together own 30 percent.

GTT shares rose as much as 8.9 percent to $52.25 in New York Monday, an all-time high for the company. The stock rallied 63 percent in 2017.

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