Tuesday, August 17, 2021


In the film Groundhog Day, the plot is about a reluctant weatherman sent to report on a weather-forecasting groundhog. His frustration with having to cover the story is evident, and when awakening the following morning, he discovers that the day happens over and over again.

This plot is appropriate in following the trade and supply chain industry over the last 18 months. Case in point - China recently announced a shutdown one of the world’s busiest container ports due to a Covid outbreak. If this disruption wasn’t enough, “container prices also have soared, with the benchmark cost of shipping a container up more than 220% over the past year to this week.”

Any shipping delays threaten the flow of everything from toilet paper to technology-related components, similar to last year as the pandemic took hold. Unlike 2020, however, we’re all better prepared to minimize the exposure to any long-term impact on our respective businesses.

For Comstar Supply, that means we’ve taken stronger stock positions in key products, strengthened existing supplier agreements, and partnered with additional manufacturers to ensure access to critical network components for our customers.

On the service provider side, we’ve seen a priority being placed on pre-buying well ahead of need, detailed 18-month forecasting, and a greater acceptance of making, and approving, a plan B.

Bill Murray’s character in the film, Phil Connors, states in the movie, “What would you do if you were stuck in one place and every day was exactly the same, and nothing that you did mattered?” At Comstar, our efforts over the last 18 months did matter. Our ability to be flexible and nimble in the face of supply chain disruptions was to focus on our core competencies: our capabilities, collaboration, and customer service. Each of these differentiators helps define our internal focus, yet when executed together, ensure game-changing outcomes for our customers.

A distributor can’t necessarily be everything to everyone. Understanding that, and focusing on core competencies, is what has made Comstar Supply successful in the telecom distribution arena for the last 25+ years.

We manage thousands of relationships with suppliers and manufacturers to offer a comprehensive portfolio of products for the outside plant space. This allows us to take a strong stock position in a number of items, especially in terms of fiber cable.

Comstar Supply helps customers meet their business objectives by playing a critical role in the planning and delivery of their outside plant material. We build relationships that are beneficial through mutual sharing of information. Things like forecasting 12-18 months out, key product bill of materials, pre-approving a series of plan B product alternatives, and key communication about the broadband and supply chain industries that are material impacting.

These types of conversations enable a continuous value exchange and are often the most critical step of engagement with our customers. Whether it’s allocating fiber connectivity during turbulent production times or stocking critical hardware that can be drop-shipped on a moment’s notice, these kinds of strategic conversations ensure adequate product and timely delivery of material.

Customer Service
Comstar Supply was built with a goal of providing the broadband industry with a customer experience unlike any other, while supplying the necessary materials to successfully complete projects in a timely and cost-effective manner. To do this, we place a focus on the needs of our customers. We foster strong relationships throughout each organization to ensure our ability to maximize value.

At one point in the movie, Bill Murray's character says, “Somebody asked me today, "Phil, if you could be anywhere in the world, where would you like to be?" For Comstar Supply, that answer, no matter the disruption, is right here beside all of our customers. One of our internal motto’s is simply: “We were built for this.” So, whether it’s a delivery for a job to a corporate headquarters or a drop shipment to a specific location, a $1 order or $1 million purchase, a short-term need or a long-term plan—we make sure we are ready and available for our customers at their every moment of need.



Monday, August 9, 2021

USTC Corp Acquires Comstar Supply


USTC’s rapid organic growth and recent acquisitions create
market leader in broadband distribution solutions

USTC Corp, Inc., a leading value-added distributor of telecommunications materials, supply chain solutions, and technical expertise announced today that it has acquired Comstar Supply, Inc., a national distributor of outside plant material and equipment for the broadband industry. With this transaction, USTC Corp now operates seven distribution locations in the U.S., with plans to significantly grow its service territory and customer base.  The financial terms of the transaction are not disclosed.

Founded in 2017 by Cédric Varasteh and backed by Washington, D.C. headquartered global investment firm Carlyle (NASDAQ: CG), USTC Corp is a leading one stop shop for all materials, product design, and value-added distribution of passive and active equipment and tooling from more than 1,000 global suppliers for telecommunications, Hybrid Fiber-Coaxial (HFC), Fiber To The Home (FTTH), Fiber To The x (FTTx), wireless, and data center technologies, as well as supply chain management solutions. USTC Corp is a trusted partner for all technical and logistics expertise with extensive engineering and Broadband Fiber Networks capabilities, and an experienced team of nearly 400 employees.

Comstar Supply was founded in 1994 with the goal of providing the broadband industry with the necessary outside plant materials and tools. Through its distribution centers in Philadelphia, PA and Raleigh, NC, the Company serves a diverse customer base including contractors, broadband and electric utilities, wireline and wireless internet providers, cooperatives, and other CATV companies.

This acquisition as well as the recent acquisition of Walker and Associates allows USTC Corp to continue expanding its customer base and footprint with seven locations for the combined entities across New Jersey (including USTC Corp’s headquarters in Edison), North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas and Nevada. USTC Corp is perfectly positioned to serve customers quicker across the country with greater flexibility and reliability needed to support network deployments, upgrades, and maintenance, while enhancing their supplier relationships. 

For Comstar, the transaction provides an expanded portfolio of products and technologies beyond its existing outside plant inventory, and a comprehensive array of value-added solutions including planning, product design, kitting and home delivery, logistics services, as well as engineering capabilities.

Cédric Varasteh, Founder and CEO of USTC Corp, said: “We’re thrilled to welcome the Comstar Supply team to the USTC family. Together we can help solve our customers’ toughest problems with our combined world-class distribution capabilities, technical and engineering expertise, and best-in-class supply chain and logistics solutions needed to quickly support network deployments, upgrades, and maintenance, and further expand our one stop shop offerings across our enhanced footprint. Our capabilities, end-to-end solutions, and comprehensive product catalog, along with our seven distribution locations across the U.S. enable us to offer the flexibility and reliability needed to support our customers on a regional and national scale with the added benefit of global purchasing power.”

Chad Punchard, President of Comstar Supply, added: “Over 25 years ago, my father set out to build a company with a set of morals and ethics that continue to guide and shape who we are today, and I’m proud that USTC’s values and culture align beautifully with ours.  Both organizations are guided by the same relentless pursuit of customer satisfaction, and with our extensive customized solutions, together we’re uniquely positioned as a true and trusted distribution partner to serve our diverse customer base across the country.” 

Vladimir Lasocki, Managing Director at Carlyle, and Cyril Bourdarot, Director at Carlyle and Chairman of USTC Corp’s parent group, said: “The capex trend in telecom is structurally growing due to the increased need for broadband and our increasingly connected economy. Our growth strategy with Cédric has been focused on positioning USTC Corp as the ideal partner for all investment needs, be they maintenance, upgrade or network roll-out for all technologies (FTTH, HFC, mobile – particularly 5G, datacenter, etc.). We are delighted with the significant progress made in the U.S. with the Comstar and Walker and Associates transactions which are both great additions to USTC Corp. This is building a business of real scale and importance in the region while delivering a complete offering that customers need and are valuing.”


Advisors on the transaction:

·        M&A Advisor (Buy side): Bank Street Group LLC

·        M&A Advisor (Sell side): Savran Benson LLP

·        Legal Advisor (Buy side): DLA Piper

·        Legal Advisor (Sell side): Blank Rome


About USTC Corp

USTC Corp is a leading one stop shop for all materials, technical expertise, supply chain management solutions, and the value-added distribution of passive and active equipment and tooling from over 1,000 global suppliers for telecommunications, HFC, FTTH, FTTx, wireless, and data center technologies. Founded in 2017 by CEO and Chairman of the Board, Cédric Varasteh, and headquartered in Edison, NJ with expanded operations in Dallas, Texas, USTC Corp recently acquired Walker and Associates, adding additional locations in Winston Salem, North Carolina and Reno, Nevada. With flexible delivery models, a plug-and-play approach, and modular set of value-added services, USTC Corp believes that customers deserve customization.  Their experienced team of nearly 400 employees across 5 facilities in the U.S. are working hard every day dedicated to customer satisfaction and reliability.  To learn more, visit www.ustc-corp.com and follow USTC Corp on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/USTCcorp.

About Comstar Supply

Comstar Supply, Inc., was founded in 1994 with the goal of providing the broadband industry with the necessary outside plant material and tools. Through its distribution centers in Philadelphia, PA, and Raleigh, NC, the company serves a diverse customer base including contractors, broadband and electric utilities, wireline and wireless internet providers, electric cooperatives, and other CATV companies. Further information about the company can be found online at www.comstarsupply.com and follow Comstar Supply on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/company/comstar-supply-inc-/.

About Carlyle

Carlyle (NASDAQ: CG) is a global investment firm with deep industry expertise that deploys private capital across three business segments: Global Private Equity, Global Credit and Investment Solutions. With $276 billion of assets under management as of June 30, 2021, Carlyle’s purpose is to invest wisely and create value on behalf of its investors, portfolio companies and the communities in which we live and invest. Carlyle employs nearly 1,800 people in 27 offices across five continents. Further information is available at carlyle.com. Follow Carlyle on Twitter @OneCarlyle