Thursday, September 10, 2015

M&A Alphabet Soup

Exciting Telecom Transformations

There is no doubt that we are in a very transformative time in our industry. Network operators are in an arms race of epic proportions to bring as many assets online to stay relevant. We are well past the dawn of packet switching, but the growth behind the cloud and IoT are still in their infancy. The M&A activity going on now goes much deeper than sharks taking the minnows. We are seeing Wireless Integrators consuming Wireline assets. We also have a wireline company consuming a satellite giant. These sharks are significantly diversifying their portfolios beyond where they have been before—adding more than just minnows to the dinner menu.

Not only are we seeing a large movement to merge networks, but several suppliers are in the mergers and acquisition mode as well. I could feel a high level of nervous excitement in the air walking the floor at the OSP Expo in Denver this past week. If change is the only constant, it was very palpable at the Colorado Convention Center. Several big changes are happening with some of our key suppliers, and I wanted to highlight each of those here.

CommScope & TE Connectivity CommScope Holding Company formally announced on August 28 that it completed its acquisition of TE Connectivity’s telecom, enterprise and wireless divisions. In a letter to their industry partners, Peter Karlsson of CommScope states, “To compete and win globally, we know that we must continually help our customers meet the world’s growing demand for network bandwidth.” The blending of product portfolios from these two companies sets the bar extremely high for any supplier to match the level of quality, performance and service that this merger brings to the table. Karlsson adds, “With this transaction, we are confident we will achieve that objective with greater efficiency, performance, agility and technology innovation.”

At Comstar Supply, we are excited to be a part of this transformation. As TE Connectivity is a preferred partner of ours, we are very motivated to sustain a high level of service to our customers through the transition. We are confident that the resources and solutions in front of us will strengthen our partnerships. Comstar Supply’s dedication to efficiency, performance and agility are in line with the current goals of CommScope, and we feel this will be a successful partnership as a result of those common bonds.

Pentair & ERICO On August 17, Pentair announced its agreement to purchase ERICO for $1.8 billion in cash and repayment of any outstanding ERICO debt. This deal will combine Pentair’s Hoffman Network Solutions division with a leader in bonding and grounding products. Comstar Supply is very excited about this union of service and product solutions. As we are already a distributor for both suppliers, this merger will provide a more cohesive approach to enclosures and equipment protection for telecom outside plant, enterprise and wireless markets.

JDSU Testing Instruments is now Viavi Solutions, Inc. Although this corporate change is by a split rather than a merger, this transformation is no less important. As of August 3, 2015, the change from JDSU Network Enablement to Viavi Solutions became official. Viavi had a large presence at the OSP Show in Denver, and their new name and logo was prominently displayed at their booth. They also have launched their new website,

As a supplier for Viavi Solutions, Comstar Supply looks forward to the new growth and developments that will result from this corporate spinoff. Tom Waechter, President and CEO of Viavi Solutions said, “Viavi is poised to capture the opportunities created by the industry’s transition to new network architectures and the need for increased network and application visibility.” Any network transformations require a new approach to test methods, and certainly innovations are a major part of adapting to these transformations. Comstar Supply is proud to be a partner of Viavi, a leading innovator in testing technologies. Just as we have done with JDSU, Comstar Supply will continue to support our customers through all of the network transformations to come with Viavi.

The best way to stay on top of any new product developments from these and all of our key suppliers is at our Network Virtual Tour, No matter where your network falls on the map, let Comstar City, USA be your guide to complete solutions including cable, connectivity, pathway and installation equipment.
Whether you're adding more fiber in your HFC plant, or taking GPON by the horns, we have a full breadth of diverse suppliers to cover you on every component of your NetworkX. Comstar City, USA is an evolving tool to assist with your network advancement from a high altitude.