Globalstar, FiberLight To Merge, Combining Satellite, Wireless Spectrum, Fiber Assets

Satellite communications provider Globalstar said it will merge with telecom network provider FiberLight in a $1.65 billion deal that will bring together satellite, wireless and fixed broadband assets.

The combination will merge GlobalStar and FiberLight and also will include investment firm Thermo Acquisitions. As such, the new entity will be called Thermo Companies at the close of the deal, GlobalStar said.

The deal is being spearheaded by Jay Monroe, GlobalStar's chairman and CEO, who also founded and is the controlling shareholder of Thermo Acquisitions, which backs FiberLight.

[Related: FirstLight Closes Fourth Fiber Acquisition As Telecom Market Continues Consolidation Trend]

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In a statement about the merger agreement, the companies said that the new entity will have a ’portfolio of assets that supports the needs of next-generation networks, including connectivity everywhere, dense small cell deployments, dedicated licensed spectrum and [a] deep fiber footprint.’

Thermo Companies will become "a one-stop shop" for mobile network operators looking for global wireless spectrum assets, Monroe said in an interview.

GlobalStar today offers low-speed data communications and satellite links to devices via its satellite network. The Covington, La.-based company also owns U.S. and international airwave licenses.

FiberLight owns and operates more than 14,00 route miles of fiber in the U.S. and offers high-bandwidth Ethernet, dedicated internet access, 100G long-haul connectivity, and wireless backup services to data center providers, network operators and enterprise customers.

The new company also will own other assets, including 15.5 million shares of Monroe, La.-based telecom provider CenturyLink’s common stock, in which Thermo Acquisitions already holds a stake, as well as $100 million in cash. According to GlobalStar, the deal also will include minority investments in complementary businesses, including Pivotal Commware, which develops software-defined antennas that use holographic beamforming to increase network speed and capacity.