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EX-32 - EX-32 - Zayo Group Holdings, Inc.zayo-20180630xex32.htm
EX-31.2 - EX-31.2 - Zayo Group Holdings, Inc.zayo-20180630ex312072bdc.htm
EX-31.1 - EX-31.1 - Zayo Group Holdings, Inc.zayo-20180630ex3114a73c0.htm
EX-23.1 - EX-23.1 - Zayo Group Holdings, Inc.zayo-20180630ex231597c75.htm
EX-21.1 - EX-21.1 - Zayo Group Holdings, Inc.zayo-20180630ex211271697.htm

 

 

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549

FORM 10-K

ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the fiscal year ended June 30, 2018

OR

TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

Commission File Number: 001-36690

Zayo Group Holdings, Inc.

(Exact Name of Registrant as Specified in Its Charter)

 

 

 

DELAWARE

26-1398293

(State or other jurisdiction of

incorporation or organization)

(I.R.S. Employer

Identification No.)

 

 

1821 30th Street, Unit A,

Boulder, CO 80301

(Address of Principal Executive Offices)

(303) 381-4683

(Registrant’s Telephone Number, Including Area Code)

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:

 

Title of Each Class

Name of Exchange on Which Registered

Common Stock, par value $0.001 per share

New York Stock Exchange

 

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:

None

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.

Yes  ☒    No ☐ 

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Act.

Yes  ☐  No   ☒

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.    Yes ☒     No ☐ 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files).    Yes  ☒    No  ☐

Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K (§ 229.405 of this chapter) is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of registrant’s knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K.    ☐

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Large accelerated filer

  

  

Accelerated filer

 

 

 

 

 

Non-accelerated filer

 

☐  (Do not check if a smaller reporting company)

 

Smaller reporting company

 

 

 

 

 

 

Emerging growth company

 

 

 

 

 

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. ¨☐

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).    Yes  ☐    No  ☒

As of December 31, 2017, the aggregate market value of the registrant’s common stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant was approximately $7.7 billion based on the closing price as reported on the New York Stock Exchange.

As of August 20, 2018, the number of outstanding shares of common stock of Zayo Group Holdings, Inc. was 246,642,680 shares. 

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

Portions of the registrant’s Definitive Proxy Statement for the 2018 Annual Meeting of Stockholders are incorporated by reference into Part III of this Form 10-K.

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

INDEX

 

 

 

 

 

GLOSSARY OF TERMS 

 

i

 

 

 

 

 

PART I. 

 

 

    

 

Item 1. 

 

BUSINESS

 

1

Item 1A. 

 

RISK FACTORS

 

17

Item 1B. 

 

UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS

 

33

Item 2. 

 

PROPERTIES

 

33

Item 3. 

 

LEGAL PROCEEDINGS

 

33

Item 4. 

 

MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURE

 

34

 

 

 

 

 

PART II. 

 

 

 

 

Item 5. 

 

MARKET FOR REGISTRANT’S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES

 

35

Item 6. 

 

SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA

 

37

Item 7. 

 

MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

 

38

Item 7A. 

 

QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE DISCLOSURES ABOUT MARKET RISK

 

67

Item 8. 

 

FINANCIAL STATEMENTS AND SUPPLEMENTARY DATA

 

68

Item 9. 

 

CHANGES IN AND DISAGREEMENTS WITH ACCOUNTANTS ON ACCOUNTING AND FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE

 

68

Item 9A. 

 

CONTROLS AND PROCEDURES

 

68

Item 9B 

 

OTHER INFORMATION

 

69

 

 

 

 

 

PART III. 

 

 

 

 

Item 10. 

 

DIRECTORS, EXECUTIVE OFFICERS, AND CORPORATE GOVERNANCE

 

70

Item 11. 

 

EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION

 

70

Item 12. 

 

SECURITY OWNERSHIP OF CERTAIN BENEFICIAL OWNERS AND MANAGEMENT AND RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS

 

70

Item 13. 

 

CERTAIN RELATIONSHIPS AND RELATED TRANSACTIONS, AND DIRECTOR INDEPENDENCE

 

70

Item 14. 

 

PRINCIPAL ACCOUNTING FEES AND SERVICES

 

70

 

 

 

 

 

PART IV. 

 

 

 

 

Item 15 

 

EXHIBITS AND FINANCIAL STATEMENT SCHEDULES

 

71

 

 

 

 

 

SIGNATURES 

 

75

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

GLOSSARY OF TERMS

Our industry uses many terms and acronyms that may not be familiar to you. To assist you in reading this Annual Report on Form 10-K, we have provided definitions of some of these terms below.

Bandwidth infrastructure—Offerings of fiber and lit fiber (i.e., fiber that has been activated, or “lit”, by provider-supplied components) provisioned over the fiber network, mobile infrastructure connected to (or capable of being connected to) the fiber network, and data center based colocation and interconnection offerings. Lit fiber-based bandwidth infrastructure offerings include Wavelength, Ethernet, IP and SONET; fiber-based offerings that are not lit are sold as dark fiber capacity. Data center-based bandwidth infrastructure offerings include colocation (space and power) as well as interconnection within facilities.

Capacity—The information‑carrying ability of a lit fiber offering. Below is a list of some common units of capacity for various lit fiber offerings:

·

1G, 2.5G, 10G, 40G and 100G—Data communication circuits capable of accommodating Wavelengths at 1G, 2.5G, 10G, 40G, and 100G, respectively.

·

10Mb and 100Mb—Data communication circuits capable of accommodating Ethernet communications at 10 Mb and 100 Mb, respectively.

Carrier—A provider of communications services that commonly include voice, data, and Internet services.

Carrier hotel—A data center facility containing many carriers and other telecommunications service providers, all of which may be widely interconnected. These facilities generally have high‑capacity power service, backup batteries and generators, fuel storage, riser cable systems, large cooling capability, and advanced fire suppression systems.

Cellular tower—An outdoor structure primarily used to attach and house antennae used by wireless carriers to aggregate and transmit mobile voice and data.

CLEC—Competitive local exchange carrier; a local telecommunications provider licensed to compete with some or all of the offerings of the ILEC.

Colocation—The housing of telecommunications equipment, other communications equipment, servers and storage components within the same location. Operators of these colocation facilities typically also make available interconnection offerings to their tenants, enabling the tenants to cross connect with other customers located within the same facility and/or with bandwidth infrastructure providers.

Conduit—A pipe usually made of metal, ceramic, or plastic that protects underground fiber optic cables.

Cybersecurity— Preventative techniques used to protect the integrity of networks, programs and data from attack, damage, or unauthorized access.

Dark fiber—Fiber that has not yet been connected to telecommunications access components or optronics and, therefore, has not yet been activated or “lit” by the provider-supplied components.

Data center—A facility used to house computer systems, backup storage components, routers, servers and other Internet and other telecommunications equipment. Data centers generally have environmental controls (air conditioning, fire suppression, etc.), redundant/backup power supplies, redundant data communications connections, and high security.

DWDM—Dense Wavelength-division multiplexing. The term “dense” refers to the number of channels being multiplexed. A DWDM system typically has the capability to multiplex up to 40 Wavelength channels.

Ethernet—The standard local area network (LAN) protocol. Ethernet was originally specified as a standard for connection of components that share a company or home network, as well as to a cable modem or DSL modem for Internet access. Due to its ubiquity in the LAN, Ethernet has become a popular communication protocol in metropolitan, regional and long haul networks as well.

Fiber or fiber optic cables—Thin filaments of glass through which light beams travel over long distances.

i

 


 

Fiber miles—The number of route miles in a network multiplied by the number of fiber strands within each cable on that network. For example, if a ten‑mile network segment has a 144 count fiber installed, it would represent 10x144 or 1,440 fiber miles.

Fiber‑to‑the‑Tower or FTT—The connection of cellular tower sites to the wider terrestrial network via fiber connections.

G—Gigabits per second, a measure of telecommunications speed. One gigabit equals one billion bits of information.

ILEC—Incumbent local exchange carrier; a traditional telecommunications provider that, prior to the Telecommunications Act of 1996, had the exclusive right and responsibility for providing telecommunications offerings in its local service area, and in connection therewith typically built or acquired access to key elements of bandwidth infrastructure.

Interconnection—A connection between two customers who are located within a single data center or within a single colocation space using fiber and/or other means.

IP—Internet protocol; the network protocol used in accommodating movement of data over the Internet.

IRU and IRU contract—Indefeasible right of use. The exclusive, unrestricted, and indefeasible right to use one, a pair, or more strands of fiber of a fiber cable. IRU contracts are typically long‑term in nature (20 years) and may or may not contain restrictions on the use of the fiber by the lessee.

ISP—Internet service provider; provides retail access to the Internet for consumers and businesses.

Mb—Megabits per second; a measure of telecommunications speed. One megabit equals one million bits of information.

Meet‑Me Room—A physical location in a building, usually a carrier hotel or other data center, where voice carriers, Internet service providers, data service providers and others interconnect so that data can be passed between and among their respective networks. At any given colocation facility or data center, network owners may also be able to interconnect outside the Meet‑Me Room.

Mobile switching centers—Buildings where wireless carriers house their Internet routers and voice switching equipment.

Object-Based Storage— A cost effective data storage offering which manages data as objects and has the ability to store large volumes of unstructured data.

OC—Optical carrier level; a measure of the rate of optical telecommunications traffic. For example, OC‑3 corresponds to 155 Mb. See the definition of “Capacity,” above.

On‑net—Describes a location or offering that is directly and fully supported by the provider’s fiber (as opposed to another’s fiber or some other connection solution).

Optronics—Various types of components that are commonly used to light fiber, including components that are capable of providing Wavelength, Ethernet, IP, SONET, and other technology over fiber optic cable.

POP—Point‑of‑presence; a location in a building separate from colocation facilities and data centers that houses components used to provide access to telecommunications or bandwidth infrastructure.

Private cloud— A type of cloud computing that involves a distinct and secure cloud-based computing environment dedicated to a single organization.

Private line—A dedicated private bandwidth circuit that generally utilizes SONET, Ethernet and Wavelength technology used to connect various locations.

Route miles—The actual number of non‑overlapping miles that a fiber network traverses. Route miles are distinct from fiber miles (see the definition of “Fiber miles” above).

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Small cell—A location, other than a cellular tower or building, that is used to attach an antenna used by a wireless carriers to aggregate and transmit mobile voice and data. Typically, the location is a light pole, traffic light, or other small separate purpose structure.

SONET—Synchronous optical network; a network protocol traditionally used to support private line offerings. This protocol enables movement of voice, data and video at high speeds. Protected SONET networks provide for virtually instantaneous restoration of connectivity in the event of a fiber cut or component failure.

Switch—A component that selects the path that voice, data and Internet traffic take or use on a network.

Transport—A dedicated telecommunication method to connect data, Internet, voice, video or wireless traffic from one location to another.

Wavelength—A channel (or “lane”) of light that accommodates telecommunications traffic through the process of Wavelength‑division multiplexing.  See also the definition of  “DWDM”, above.

 

 

iii


 

 

 

PART I

ITEM 1. BUSINESS

Overview

Zayo Group Holdings, Inc. (the “Company”, “we” or “us”) is a large and fast growing provider of bandwidth infrastructure in the United States, Canada and Europe. Our products and offerings enable our customers’ mission-critical, high-bandwidth applications, such as cloud-based computing, video, mobile, social media, machine-to-machine connectivity, and other bandwidth-intensive applications. Key products include leased dark fiber, fiber to cellular towers and small cell sites, dedicated Wavelength connections, Ethernet, IP connectivity, cloud offerings and other high-bandwidth offerings. We provide access to our bandwidth infrastructure and other offerings over a unique set of dense metro, regional, and long-haul fiber network sections and through our interconnect-oriented data center facilities. Our fiber network sections and data center facilities are critical components of the overall physical network architecture of the Internet and private networks. Our customer base includes some of the largest and most sophisticated users of bandwidth infrastructure offerings, such as wireless service providers; telecommunications service providers; financial services companies; social networking, media, and web content companies; education, research, and healthcare institutions; and governmental agencies. We typically provide our bandwidth infrastructure offerings for a fixed monthly recurring access fee under contracts that vary between one and twenty years in length.  We operate our business with a unique focus on capital allocation and financial performance with the ultimate goal of maximizing equity value for our stockholders. Our core values center on partnership, alignment, and transparency with our three primary constituent groups - employees, customers, and stockholders.

We were founded in 2007 with the investment thesis of building a bandwidth infrastructure platform to take advantage of the favorable Internet, data, and wireless growth trends driving the on-going demand for bandwidth infrastructure, and to be an active participant in the consolidation of the industry. The growth of cloud-based computing, video, mobile and social media applications, machine-to-machine connectivity, and other bandwidth-intensive applications continues to drive rapidly increasing consumption of bandwidth on a global basis. As an early believer in the enduring nature of these trends, we assembled our asset base and built a business model specifically to supply high-bandwidth infrastructure for connectivity to users whose businesses depend most on the continuous and growing demand for bandwidth.  Typically, such users are given access to use our bandwidth infrastructure in return for an initial contract of at least one year, and generally with options for extensions. As a core tenet of our strategy for capitalizing on these industry trends, we have been a leading industry consolidator and have acquired 45 bandwidth infrastructure businesses and assets to date. Our owned, secure, and redundant fiber network and data centers serve as the foundation for our bandwidth solutions and allow us to offer customers dark fiber solutions, network connectivity and colocation and cloud infrastructure solutions. We believe the continuously growing demand for stable and secure bandwidth and infrastructure from users such as service providers, enterprises and consumers, combined with our unique and dense metro, regional, and long-haul network sections, position us as a mission-critical infrastructure supplier to the largest users of bandwidth.

Our network footprint includes both large and small metro geographies, the extended suburban regions of many cities, and the large rural, national and international links that connect our metro network sections. We believe that our network assets would be difficult to replicate given the geographic reach, network density, and capital investment required. As of June 30, 2018, our fiber network spans 128,910 route miles and 11,867,276 fiber miles (representing an average of 92 fibers per route), serves 403 geographic markets in the United States, Canada and Europe, and connects to approximately 35,000 buildings, including 1,185 data centers. We own fiber network sections in large metro areas, such as New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Paris, and London, as well as smaller metro areas, such as Allentown, Pennsylvania, Fargo, North Dakota, and Spokane, Washington. Our network sections allow our customers access to our high-bandwidth infrastructure solutions over redundant fiber facilities between and among key customer locations.  We believe our ownership and the location and density of our expansive network footprint allow us to more competitively satisfy our target customers’ bandwidth infrastructure solutions at the local, regional, national, and international level relative to other regional bandwidth infrastructure providers or long-haul providers. We also provide our network-neutral colocation and interconnection offerings utilizing our own data centers located within major carrier hotels and other

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strategic buildings in 50 locations throughout the United States, Canada and Europe and operate approximately 1,034,000 square feet of licensable colocation space.

The density and geographic reach of our network footprint allow us to provide tailored bandwidth infrastructure solutions on our own network (“on-net”) that address the current and future bandwidth needs of our customers. Our dense metro and regional network sections have high fiber counts that enable us to provide our dark fiber solutions, network connectivity and colocation and cloud infrastructure offerings. Our network sections are deep and scalable, meaning we have spare fiber, conduit access rights and/or rights of way rights that allow us to continue to add capacity to our network as our existing and new customers’ demand for our offerings increases. In addition, many of our core network technologies provide capacity through which we can continue to add dedicated Wavelengths to our network without consuming additional fiber. We also believe the density and diversity of our network provides a strong and growing competitive barrier to protect our existing revenue base. We believe our network provides significant opportunity to organically connect to new customer locations, data centers, towers, or small cell locations to help us achieve an attractive return on our capital deployed. Since our founding, we have assembled a large portfolio of fiber network sections and colocation assets through both acquisitions and customer demand-driven investments in infrastructure property and equipment. From our inception to date, we have completed acquisitions with an aggregate purchase consideration, net of cash acquired, totaling approximately $6.7 billion. For the period from July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2018, we also invested approximately $2.3 billion in capital expenditures, exclusive of acquisitions and stimulus grant reimbursements, primarily to expand the reach and capacity of our network. As of June 30, 2018, our total debt (including capital lease obligations and before any unamortized discounts, premiums and debt issuance costs) was $5,876.6 million and was primarily incurred in connection with acquisitions.

Our business model focuses on providing on-net bandwidth infrastructure solutions to our customers, which results in what we refer to as “infrastructure economics.” Infrastructure economics are characterized by attractive revenue visibility and strong margins coupled with operating leverage for new revenue, success-based capital investments with low maintenance capital needs, and the ability to generate significant cash flow over time. For the year ended June 30, 2018, approximately 90% of our revenue was recurring in nature. Our capital expenditure investments are primarily success-based, meaning that before we commit resources to expand our network, we have a signed customer contract that will provide us with an attractive return on the required capital investment. After committing capital to connect additional customer sites, our goal is to sell additional high-bandwidth connectivity on these new routes at a relatively low incremental cost, which further enhances the return we extract from our asset base. Finally, the combination of our scale and infrastructure economics results in the ability to generate meaningful free cash flow over time.

Our management is intensely focused on creating equity value for our stockholders. Our equity value creation philosophy includes regular and rigorous financial and operational measurement, financial transparency (both internally and externally), and clear alignment of interests among employees, management, and stockholders. Our real-time measurement and reporting system serves as the foundation for our decision making and our extensive financial and operational disclosure. We also believe in fostering an entrepreneurial culture that aligns the interests of our employees, management, and stockholders.

We are a Delaware corporation formed in 2007.  As of June 30, 2018, we had 3,774 employees.

Our fiscal year ends June 30 each year, and we refer to the fiscal year ending June 30, 2019 as “Fiscal 2019”, the fiscal year ended June 30, 2018 as “Fiscal 2018”, the fiscal year ended June 30, 2017 as “Fiscal 2017” and the fiscal year ended June 30, 2016 as “Fiscal 2016.”

Bandwidth Infrastructure Industry

We are a provider of bandwidth infrastructure solutions, and our offerings are a critical component of the broader global communications industry. Bandwidth infrastructure, consisting primarily of fiber network sections and interconnect-oriented colocation facilities, plays a fundamental role in the communications value chain, similar to other types of infrastructure such as data centers and cellular towers. Bandwidth infrastructure assets are a critical resource, connecting data centers, cellular towers, and other carrier and private networks to support the substantial growth in global data, voice and video consumption by both business and individual consumers.

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Industry History

Our industry has changed substantially over the years. The first phase of the bandwidth infrastructure industry occurred with the advent of the Internet and the ensuing dot com era in the late 1990s. This led to the first major wave of fiber network deployments as a number of companies of varying backgrounds and profiles invested billions of dollars in fiber network construction throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe. These fiber network developers included companies with national and international plans (e.g., Level 3 Communications, Qwest Communications, Williams Communications) and more regional plans (e.g., 360networks, Progress Telecom, OnFiber). Following these network builds, many of the fiber companies struggled in the early 2000s due to the lack of sufficient demand for their high-bandwidth offerings. Bandwidth demand during this timeframe was limited by the fact that many bandwidth-intensive applications (e.g., streaming video, cloud, mobile broadband, big data analytics, etc.) were either not yet contemplated or still very early in their life cycle. Instead, the majority of traffic at the time was low-bandwidth offerings such as voice and dial-up modem connections. In addition, the similarity of the fiber routes deployed resulted in significant overcapacity and associated pricing pressure, leaving both a “last mile” gap and heavy competition and overcapacity along these routes. These two primary factors combined to significantly limit the fiber network providers’ operating cash flows, resulting in the majority of these companies transitioning their business models, consolidating and/or seeking bankruptcy protection.

In the following years, a substantial expansion in computing power and bandwidth-intensive applications drove meaningful bandwidth traffic growth. This growth highlighted the need to address the “last mile” gap by bringing bandwidth capacity directly to both the consumer and business end user. The capacity and performance of the consumer last mile connection was primarily addressed by the expansion of cable networks and through mobile network development by wireless carriers (supported by cellular tower operators). The growing bandwidth demand of business end users was addressed by a number of focused fiber developers constructing new networks to directly connect to data centers, cellular towers, government facilities, schools, hospitals and other locations with high-bandwidth needs. These fiber network companies were generally local or regional in nature, and were most often either survivors of the initial fiber development wave, subsidiaries of a utility parent, or owned by entrepreneurs. This period is also noted for increased financial discipline following the large speculative capital deployments of the dot com era. This is the timeframe and industry environment in which our Company was founded.

The Industry Today

The acceleration in the development of bandwidth-intensive components and applications has resulted in a significant need to further fill in the “last mile” gap, leading to substantial capital investments in fiber networks by bandwidth infrastructure providers. Bandwidth infrastructure solutions support customer applications such as high definition television broadcasting and video; online streaming video; cloud applications replacing in-house enterprise software platforms; and explosive mobile data consumption (Cisco found that, in 2016, global mobile data traffic was equivalent to 18x the volume of global mobile traffic five years earlier in 2011). Companies whose services require large amounts of bandwidth and enterprises that consume large amounts of bandwidth are struggling to adapt to this rapidly evolving landscape, and the bandwidth infrastructure industry is growing in economic importance as it addresses this critical need. In addition to these demand trends, there has been significant consolidation in the bandwidth infrastructure industry, validating a core tenet of the Company’s founding investment thesis. Since inception we have made 45 acquisitions in the US, Europe and Canada with an aggregate purchase consideration, net of cash acquired, totaling approximately $6.7 billion.

Industry Participants

We view the participants in today’s communications industry in two distinct categories:

·

Providers of Infrastructure.    Companies that own and operate infrastructure assets that are used to market and deliver infrastructure offerings. We believe these assets would be difficult to replicate given the significant capital, time, permitting, and expertise required. Providers of infrastructure typically enjoy long-term customer contracts, a highly visible and recurring revenue base, and attractive margins. We further categorize these providers of infrastructure as follows:

 

o

Bandwidth Infrastructure Providers:    Owners of bandwidth infrastructure assets comprised of fiber networks and interconnect-oriented colocation facilities. Bandwidth infrastructure

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offerings include dark fiber, lit fiber (Wavelengths, Ethernet, IP, and SONET), and colocation and interconnection offerings for the purpose of accommodating customers’ mission-critical traffic including data, voice, and video.

 

o

Data Center Providers:    Owners of data center facilities that include raised floor, power and cooling infrastructure. These facilities house and support customer networking and computing equipment for carrier networks, enterprise cloud platforms, content distribution networks, and other mission-critical applications.

 

o

Cellular Tower Providers:    Owners of cellular towers, the physical infrastructure upon which customer antennas and associated components are co-located for the wireless carrier industry.

 

·

Users of Infrastructure.    Users of infrastructure may purchase infrastructure offerings either to provide value-added services to their customers or for their own private network requirements. We further categorize these users of infrastructure as follows:

 

o

Communications Service Providers.    Communications service providers, such as wireless service providers, ILECs, CLECs, and ISPs, are companies that use infrastructure to package, market, and sell value-added communications services such as voice, Internet, data, video, wireless, and hosting solutions.

 

o

End Users.    End users are public sector entities and private enterprises that use infrastructure for their own internal networks. Note that end users may also address their needs by purchasing value-added services from communications service providers.

The Market Opportunity

The proliferation of smart devices and mobile broadband, real-time streaming video, social networks, online gaming, machine-to-machine connectivity, big data analytics, and cloud computing will continue to drive substantial demand for bandwidth infrastructure. Cisco estimates that mobile data traffic will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 47% from 2016 to 2021 and that IP traffic will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 24% from 2016 to 2021.

Communications service providers develop and deliver value-added solutions that are tailored to mass market residential and enterprise customers whose needs continue to grow and evolve as bandwidth trends expand. Given this rapid growth and the complexity and cost of building and maintaining networks, communications service providers are increasingly looking to bandwidth infrastructure providers to augment the reach and performance of their own networks and support the delivery of the solutions their customers demand. As this dynamic continues, bandwidth infrastructure providers will become further entrenched as mission-critical partners to the communications service providers.

Similarly, end users such as private enterprises (e.g., media/content providers, financial institutions, and hospital systems) and public sector entities (e.g., governmental agencies and school districts) have experienced significant growth and change in the role that bandwidth infrastructure plays within their organizations. As these needs continue to grow in both volume and criticality, end users will increasingly choose to directly procure bandwidth infrastructure solutions in order to gain more security, control and scale in their internal network operations. An example of this disintermediation is the trend of large school districts, adapting to e-education requirements, directly procuring dark fiber access as a replacement to more value-added solutions. We believe that, as these dynamics play out across all industries, the number of end users directly seeking access to bandwidth infrastructure will continue to expand.

By focusing on the reach, density, and performance of their physical networks, bandwidth infrastructure providers can deliver customized offerings to communications service providers and end users more quickly and with superior economics than these users could otherwise self-provide. Whether providing fiber connectivity to a wireless carrier’s towers to enable mobile broadband, supplying a national communications service provider with a metro fiber footprint in new markets, providing a lit bandwidth connection to multiple enterprise data centers for an industrial company, providing interconnection capabilities to a hosting company within a data center, or solving for the next society-impacting innovation, bandwidth infrastructure providers will continue to invest in and expand their infrastructure assets to meet this growing demand.

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Given the natural economies of scale, there has been significant consolidation among bandwidth infrastructure providers, particularly in the U.S. We believe this consolidation trend will continue in the U.S. and is beginning in Europe and Canada. Combined with the barriers to new entrants, we foresee a decreasing number of bandwidth infrastructure providers against a backdrop of continued strong demand for their solutions.

Our Bandwidth Infrastructure Assets

Our bandwidth infrastructure assets consist of our fiber network (including the customer-accessed optronic components used to provide our lit offerings over our fiber network) and our data centers where we provide colocation and interconnection offerings.

Our Fiber Network

Our network footprint includes both large and small metro geographies, the extended suburban regions of many cities, and the large rural, national and international fiber links that connect our metro network sections. We believe that our network assets would be difficult to replicate given the geographic reach, network density, and capital investment required. Our fiber network spans over 128,910 route miles and 11,867,276 fiber miles (representing an average of 92 fibers per route), reaches approximately 403 geographic markets in the United States, Canada and Europe, and connects approximately 35,000 buildings, including 1,185 data centers. Our network allows our customers access to our high-bandwidth infrastructure solutions over redundant fiber facilities between and among key customer locations. We believe the location and density of our expansive network footprint allow us to more competitively satisfy our target customers’ bandwidth infrastructure needs at the local, regional, national, and international level relative to other regional bandwidth infrastructure solution providers or long-haul carriers. Our fiber network also has the following key attributes:

·

Extensive Coverage.    Our fiber network sections are located across large and small metro geographies, as well as the extended metro and suburban regions of many cities, and traverse large rural areas to connect metro markets. This network coverage allows us to address our target customers’ needs in a variety of geographies and for a variety of applications, all while remaining “on-net” and maintaining infrastructure economics.

 

·

Scalable Network Architecture.    Our network is scalable, meaning we often have spare fiber, conduit access rights and/or rights of way that allow us to continue to add capacity to our network as our customers’ demand for our bandwidth infrastructure increases. In addition, the majority of our core fiber network segments utilize DWDM systems, nearly all of which have spare capacity through which we can continue to add dedicated Wavelengths to our network without consuming additional fiber.

 

·

Modern Fiber and Optronics.    Our modern fiber network supports current generation optronic components including DWDM systems, carrier class Ethernet switches and IP routers. These customer-accessed components are used to provide our lit offerings. The vast majority of our network is capable of supporting next generation technologies with minimal capital investment.

Metro Fiber Network Sections.    We use our metro fiber network sections to provide access to bandwidth infrastructure within the metro markets where we operate. Our metro network sections are most commonly used in the following two scenarios:  first, to provide connectivity between on-net buildings that are located in the same geographic market; second, to connect our on-net buildings within a metro market to another metro market via our regional and/or long-haul network sections. We continue to expand our metro fiber network sections within the metro geography and into the surrounding suburban areas as we extend to additional buildings to meet new demand on a success basis. Success-based expansion means that before we commit resources to expand our network, we have a signed customer contract that will provide us in most cases with an attractive return on required capital. In many of our metro markets, we have high count fiber cables (sometimes as many as 864 fibers per cable) and in some cases multiple spare conduits on our metro fiber routes. On individual segments where our fiber capacity becomes highly utilized, we seek to augment that capacity also on a success basis.

Regional and Long-haul Fiber Network Sections.    We use our regional fiber network sections to provide bandwidth infrastructure connectivity between the metro markets where we operate. Our regional and long-haul network sections are most commonly used in the following three scenarios:  first, to provide connectivity between on-net buildings that are located in different large markets (for example, between Chicago and New York); second, to connect

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our on-net buildings in small and mid-sized markets back to major data centers, wireless switching centers, and carrier hotels in larger markets (for example, between Lima, Ohio and Cleveland, Ohio); third, occasionally our network sections provide connectivity between on-net buildings in two different small or mid-sized markets located in various parts of our regional network sections (for example, between Sioux Falls, South Dakota and Alexandria, Minnesota). We seek to continue to add new segments and markets to our regional and long-haul network sections on a success basis, supported by a customer contract. We have deployed current generation DWDM technologies across the majority of our regional and long-haul network sections, allowing a current maximum scaling to four terabytes (i.e. 4,000G) of bandwidth and the ability to add capacity as demand for bandwidth increases. We expect that as technology continues to advance, we will augment and invest in our regional and long-haul networks accordingly.

Fiber-to-the-Tower Network Sections.    We operate fiber-to-the-tower network sections across our fiber network footprint and connect to wireless macro and small cell sites. These FTT network sections provide our customers with access to bandwidth infrastructure that offers significantly improved speed, scale, performance and reliability levels relative to legacy copper and microwave networks. Our FTT network sections are scalable, which means that we can quickly and easily increase the amount of bandwidth that we provide to each of the towers as our customers’ wireless data networks grow. Our FTT markets are generally in areas where we already have dense fiber network sections (either metro or regional), which affords us the ability to offer access to ring-protected mobile infrastructure. We are increasingly providing dark fiber solutions on our FTT network sections.

Through these fiber network sections, we provide connectivity to approximately 35,000 on-net buildings and are continually making success-based capital investments to increase our on-net building footprint. On-net buildings are buildings that are directly connected via fiber to our long-haul, regional, metro, and FTT network sections. Our customers generally purchase our bandwidth infrastructure offerings so they can transport their data, Internet, wireless and voice traffic between buildings directly connected to our network. The types of buildings connected to our network primarily consist of the following:

·

Data Centers, Carrier Hotels and Central Offices.    These buildings house multiple users of bandwidth infrastructure, serving as telecommunications and content exchange points. Our fiber network generally connects the most important of these buildings in the markets where we operate. We have over 1,800 of these types of facilities connected to our network.

 

·

Single-Tenant, High-Bandwidth Locations.    Generally these are other telecom, media or Internet content buildings that house a single large user of bandwidth infrastructure. Examples of these buildings include video aggregation sites, mobile switching centers and carrier POPs. Our network is connected to these buildings only when the tenant is a customer. We currently have over 4,100 single-tenant, high-bandwidth locations on-net.

 

·

Cellular Towers.    We connect to cellular towers and other locations that house wireless antennas. Typically, towers have multiple tenants, which provides us with the opportunity to provide our offerings to those additional tenants.

 

·

Enterprise Buildings.    Our network extends to over 21,500 enterprise buildings. This grouping contains a mix of single-tenant and multi-tenant enterprise buildings and includes hospitals, corporate data centers, schools, government buildings, research centers and other key corporate locations that require access to bandwidth infrastructure.

 

Our Data Centers

Many of our data center facilities are located in some of the most important carrier hotels in North America, including 60 Hudson Street and 111 8th Avenue in New York; 165 Halsey Street in Newark; 401 N. Broad Street in Philadelphia; 1 Summer Street in Boston; 1950 N. Stemmons Freeway and 2323 Bryan Street in Dallas; 2001 6th Street in Seattle; and 151 Front Street in Toronto. We have the exclusive right to operate and provide colocation and interconnection offerings in the Meet-Me Room at 60 Hudson Street. We also have colocation facilities located in Atlanta, Ashburn, Austin, Amsterdam, Chicago, Cleveland, Denver, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, McLean, Memphis, Miami, Minneapolis, Montreal, Nashville, Paris, Phoenix, San Diego, Santa Clara, Toronto and four additional locations in Europe. All of our facilities are network-neutral and have ample power to meet customer needs, backup power in the form of batteries and generators, air conditioning, modern fire suppression technology, 24/7 security monitoring, and

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redundant cooling capabilities. We have long-term leases with the owners of each of the buildings where we provide colocation offerings. Our colocation facilities total approximately 1,034,000 square feet of licensable colocation space.

Underlying Rights

We have the necessary right-of-way agreements and other required rights, including state and federal government authorization, to allow us to maintain and expand our fiber network sections that are located on private property and public rights-of-way, including utility poles. When we expand our network, we obtain the necessary construction permits, license agreements, permits and franchise agreements. Certain of these permits, licenses and franchises are for a limited duration. When we need to use private property, our strategy is to obtain rights-of-way under long-term contracts.

Our Segments and Offerings

We provide high-bandwidth infrastructure products and solutions over our extensive metro, regional, and long-haul fiber networks sections and through our interconnect-oriented data center facilities.  We provide our products and solutions through our six operating segments: Fiber Solutions, Transport, Enterprise Networks, Zayo Colocation (zColo), Allstream and Other. Across our segments, we operate individual Strategic Product Groups (“SPGs”). Each SPG has financial accountability and decision-making authority, which promotes agility in the fast-moving markets where we operate. Financial information for each of our operating segments and our domestic and foreign operations is contained in Note 16 – Segment Reporting to our consolidated financial statements.

Fiber SolutionsThrough the Fiber Solutions segment, we provide access to raw bandwidth infrastructure to customers that require control of their internal networks. These solutions include dark fiber, dedicated lit network sections and mobile infrastructure (fiber-to-the-tower and small cell). Dark fiber is a physically separate and secure, private platform for dedicated bandwidth. We lease dark fiber pairs (usually 2 to 12 total fibers) to our customers, who “light” the fiber using their own optronics. Our mobile infrastructure solutions permit direct fiber connections to cell towers, small cells, hub sites, and mobile switching centers. Fiber Solutions customers include carriers and other communication service providers, Internet service providers, wireless service providers, major media and content companies, large enterprises, and other companies that have the expertise to run their own fiber optic networks or require interconnected technical space. The contract terms in the Fiber Solutions segment tend to range from three to twenty years. 

Transport.  The Transport segment provides access to lit bandwidth infrastructure solutions over our metro, regional, and long-haul fiber network sections. The segment uses customer-accessed optronics to light the fiber, and our customers pay for access based on the amount and type of bandwidth they require.  Our offerings within this segment include Wavelengths, Ethernet, SONET and wholesale IP. We target customers who require a significant amount of bandwidth across their networks. Transport customers include carriers, content providers, financial services companies, healthcare, government entities, education institutions and other medium and large enterprises. The contract terms in this segment tend to range from two to five years.  SPGs within the Transport segment include:

·

Zayo Wavelength (“Waves”) Offerings.  Through our Waves SPG, we provide access to lit bandwidth infrastructure to our customers by deploying optical Wavelength technology. The offerings are provided by using DWDM optronic components to “multiplex” multiple channels (i.e., Wavelengths) of dedicated capacity on a single fiber pair.  Access capacity is provided at speeds of 1G, 2.5G, 10G, 40G, and 100G. Customers include carriers, financial services companies, healthcare, government institutions, education institutions and other enterprises. The contract terms for Wavelength offerings are typically between one and five years for a fixed recurring monthly fee and in some cases an additional upfront, non-recurring fee.  

 

·

Zayo Ethernet Offerings.    Our Ethernet SPG provides access to our lit bandwidth infrastructure to our customers by deploying Ethernet technology. Ethernet offerings are offered in metro markets as well as between metro areas (intercity) in point-to-point and multi-point configurations. Unlike data movement over a dedicated Wavelength network, information flow over Ethernet is transferred in a packet or frame across the network. The frame enables the data to navigate across a shared infrastructure in order to reach the customer required destination. Access capacity is provided in speeds ranging from 10Mb to 10G. Customers include carriers, financial services companies, healthcare, government institutions, education

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institutions and other enterprises. Contract terms in our Ethernet offerings typically range between one and five years for a fixed recurring monthly fee and in some cases an additional upfront, non-recurring fee.

 

·

Zayo SONET Offerings.  Through our SONET SPG we provide access to lit bandwidth infrastructure to our customers by deploying SONET technology. SONET is a standardized time-division protocol that transfers multiple digital bit streams over optical fiber using lasers. SONET technology is often used to support private line technology. This protocol enables movement of voice, data and video at high speeds. SONET network sections are protected, which provides for virtually instantaneous restoration of connectivity in the event of a fiber cut or component failure. Access capacity is provided at speeds ranging from DS-1 (1.54Mb) to OC-192 (10G). Customers in this group are largely carriers. The contract terms for SONET offerings typically range between one and five years for a fixed recurring monthly fee and in some cases an additional upfront, non-recurring fee. SONET is generally a legacy product that is gradually being replaced by Ethernet, Wavelength and dark fiber solutions. As a result, the SONET SPG generally manages its business to maximize cash generation and deploys minimal growth capital.

 

·

Zayo Internet Protocol (“IP”) Transit Offerings.  Through our IP Transit SPG we provide access to lit bandwidth infrastructure to our customers by deploying Internet Protocol technology. IP technology permits the flow of data across multiple circuits over a shared infrastructure from the customer source to the customer required destination. Information leaving the source is divided into multiple packets and each packet traverses the network utilizing the most efficient path and means available, as determined by a network of IP routers. Packets of information may utilize different physical circuits or paths in order to reach the destination, at which point the packets are reassembled to form the complete communication. The offerings are generally used to exchange communication on or access the public Internet. Access capacity is provided at speeds ranging from 10Mb to 100G on a single customer port interface. Customers include regional and International telecommunications and cable carriers, ISPs, enterprises, educational institutions and content companies. The contract terms for IP offerings typically range between one and three years for a fixed recurring monthly fee and in some cases a usage-based and/or an additional upfront, non-recurring fee. Pricing is generally a function of bandwidth capacity and the access required to accommodate traffic from the customer location to a public Internet exchange.

 

Enterprise NetworksThe Enterprise Networks segment provides connectivity and telecommunications solutions to medium and large enterprises. Our offerings within this segment include Internet, wide area networking products, managed products and cloud based computing and storage products. Solutions range from point-to-point data connections to multi-site managed networks to international outsourced IT infrastructure environments.  The contract terms in the Enterprise Networks segment tend to range from one to five years.  SPGs within the Enterprise Networks segment include:

 

·

Wide Area Networks (“WAN”).  Our WAN SPG provides access to lit bandwidth infrastructure to customers by deploying Internet Protocol and managed Wide Area Network technology. These offerings are generally used to exchange or access traffic on the public Internet and include Dedicated Internet Access, IP Virtual Private Networks (“VPN”) and Distributed Denial of Service mitigation. The contract terms typically range between one and five years for a fixed recurring monthly fee and in some cases an additional upfront, non-recurring fee. Pricing is generally a function of bandwidth capacity and the access required to accommodate traffic from customer location to an Internet gateway.   

 

·

Zayo Cloud Services (“Cloud”).  The Zayo Cloud Services SPG combines private cloud, public cloud and managed offerings in order to provide its customers secure infrastructure as a service (IaaS), which enables on-demand scaling and virtual computing in hybrid environments. 

 

·

CloudLink: Connect to the cloud (“CloudLink”).  CloudLink provides users private, secure, dedicated network connectivity to various cloud providers utilizing our fiber communications infrastructure. CloudLink is available across the entire product spectrum: Dark Fiber, Wavelengths, Ethernet, IP, and is optimized to leverage our software defined networking platform in order to expedite the provisioning process and enhance service management.

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Zayo Colocation (“zColo”).    The Colocation segment provides data center infrastructure solutions to a broad range of enterprise, carrier, cloud, and content customers. Our offerings within this segment include the provision of colocation space, power and interconnection offerings in North America and Western Europe. Solutions range in size from single cabinet solutions to 1MW+ data center infrastructure environments. Our data centers also support a large component of networking components for the purpose of aggregating and accommodating customers’ data, voice, Internet, and video traffic. The contract terms in this segment tend to range from two to five years.

 

Allstream.  The Allstream segment provides Cloud VoIP and Data Solutions. This includes a full range of local voice offerings allowing business customers to complete telephone calls in their local exchange, as well as make long distance, toll-free and related calls. Unified Communications is the integration of real-time communication services such as telephony (including Cloud-based IP telephony), instant messaging and video conferencing with non-real-time communication services, such as integrated voicemail and e-mail.  Allstream also provides customers with  comprehensive telecommunications services including Ethernet, and IP/MPLS VPN Solutions.

 

Other.  The Other segment is primarily comprised of Zayo Professional Services (“ZPS”). ZPS provides network and technical resources to customers who wish to leverage our expertise in designing, acquiring and maintaining network sections. The contract terms typically run for one year for a fixed recurring monthly fee in the case of network and on an hourly basis for technical resources (usage revenue). ZPS also generates revenue via telecommunication equipment sales.

During Fiscal 2018, with the continued increase in our scope and scale, our chief operating decision maker ("CODM"), who is our Chief Executive Officer, implemented certain organizational changes to the management and operation of the business that directly impact how the CODM makes resource allocation decisions and manages the Company. The changes in structure had the impact of creating a new SPG and re-aligning an existing SPG among our reportable segments, as described below. The changes in structure also resulted in changes in how we measure the relative burden each segment bears of indirect and corporate related costs, and in adjustments to intercompany pricing which more closely align to third party pricing on the products and offerings which are exchanged between our SPGs.     

Effective April 1, 2018 the Ethernet SPG, previously reported under our Enterprise Networks segment, is now reported under our Transport segment. Additionally, certain activities and operations of our legacy Waves, WAN, and Ethernet SPGs were combined to form a new SPG, CloudLink. These changes to our existing reportable segments (the “Realignment”) have been recast for all prior period financial and operating metrics presented in this Annual Report for comparability, such as;

·

Certain activities and operations of our legacy Waves, WAN, and Ethernet SPGs, after giving effect to the Realignment, are now reported in a new SPG, CloudLink, under the Enterprise Networks segment; and

·

Our IP and Sonet SPGs, and the remaining activities and operations of our legacy Waves, and Ethernet SPGs (the activities and operations not related to CloudLink), after giving effect to the Realignment, are now reported under the Transport segment.

For a discussion of certain geographic information regarding our revenue from external customers and long-lived assets and a discussion of financial information and operating segments, please see the notes to our consolidated financial statements appearing elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

Our Operations

Network Management and Operations

Our primary network operating center (“NOC”) is located in Tulsa, Oklahoma and provides 24 hours per day, 365 days per year monitoring and network surveillance. As part of our business continuity plan, our primary NOC is backed up by several regional operations centers located in Washington, D.C.; Allentown, Pennsylvania; and Butte, Montana. We continually monitor for, and proactively respond to, any events that negatively impact or interrupt the network access and services that we provide to our customers. Our NOC also responds to customer network inquiries via standard customer trouble ticket procedures. Our NOC coordinates and notifies our customers of maintenance activities and is the organization responsible for ensuring that we meet our access and service level agreements.

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Information Technology

 

Our Information Technology systems have been designed and built specifically for the needs of a focused bandwidth infrastructure provider primarily leveraging the salesforce.com platform. This platform was adopted at our inception and has been enhanced over time to integrate all of our acquired companies and increase functionality in every area.

Our current systems’ capability is mature, and we view our application functionality as a competitive advantage in our industry. Our system is differentiated from the typical telecom industry technology solution consisting of separate and loosely integrated sales force automation, customer relationship management, mapping, inventory, financial, provisioning and other systems with multiple, sometimes conflicting databases.

We have also developed within our salesforce.com platform a proprietary capability we call Tranzact. Tranzact is a set of tools and processes designed to enhance the speed and simplicity of procuring bandwidth infrastructure solutions. We believe Tranzact will further increase our competitive advantage in delivering bandwidth infrastructure solutions.

We have a fully implemented business continuity and disaster recovery plan that provides near real-time data access from physically diverse data centers (Dallas and Washington, D.C.). We further protect our data with off-site data storage practices.

 

Our Sales and Marketing Organization

Our business primarily engages in direct sales through our sales organization, consisting of 303 sales representatives as of June 30, 2018. Each of these sales representatives is part of an enterprise or carrier focused sales team led by a sales director whose team is responsible for meeting a set of quarterly net install booking targets. The sales organization sells access and services across all our SPGs. The sales representatives are directly supported by sales management, engineering, solutions engineering and marketing staff.

The sales organization is organized into five “Mega-Vertical” sectors; Finance & Professional Services, Media Content & Commerce, Public Sector Health & Utilities, Cloud Software & Infrastructure and Carrier. Each of these channels maintains dedicated sales and solutions engineering support resources. We derive revenues from these sectors using a mix of Direct Sales, Inside Sales and Indirect Channels Partners. These sales channels operate across the US, Canada & Europe, with occasional customer visits to Asia & Central / South America.

Our direct sales force is compensated through a unique system relative to typical industry practices. Sales staff are compensated through salary and incentive compensation, which is comprised of cash and equity.  Incentive compensation is achieved based upon the net present value (“NPV”) of the contracted access and services sold, the incremental revenue related to contracted access and services sold and the effective management of churn related to the accounts they manage. We believe that this compensation system best aligns the interests of our salespeople, management and our stockholders. It also is an example of the financial philosophy and culture that we have developed since our inception.

Separate from the sales groups, we have a Strategic Marketing group that is responsible for our digital programs and presence, field marketing and vertical strategy. Vertical strategy leads are dedicated to supporting each "Mega Vertical" and focus on understanding key trends, marketplace dynamics and articulating back to the business how we can best serve our customers communications infrastructure needs.

 

Our Customers

Our customers generally have a significant and growing need for the bandwidth infrastructure solutions that we offer. Our customer base consists of wireless service providers, carriers and other communication service providers, media and content companies (including cable and satellite video providers), and other bandwidth-intensive businesses in the education, healthcare, financial services, governmental and technology sectors. Our largest single customer, based on recurring revenue, accounted for approximately 8% of our revenue during the year ended June 30, 2018, and total revenues from our top ten customers accounted for approximately 29% of our revenue during the same period. These customers are multinational organizations with substantial liquidity and access to capital, and whose bandwidth needs are mission-critical to their own businesses and strategies. While these large customers generally have a finite set of master

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contracts with us, they procure a large volume of individual access rights and services from us, each of which has its own access and service level agreement and term.

The majority of our customers sign Master Customer Agreements (“MCAs”) that contain standard terms and conditions including access and service level agreements, required response intervals, indemnification, default, force majeure, assignment and notification, limitation of liability, confidentiality and other key terms and conditions. Most MCAs also contain appendices that contain information that is specific to each of the access rights and services that we provide. The MCAs either have exhibits that contain customer orders or, alternatively, the terms for access and services ordered are set forth in a separate customer order. Each customer order sets forth the minimum contract duration, the monthly recurring charge, and the non-recurring charges.

Our Business Strategy

In pursuit of our mission, our Business Strategy includes the following key elements:

·

Focus on Bandwidth Infrastructure.    We expect that bandwidth needs for mobile applications, cloud-based computing, and machine-to-machine connectivity will continue to grow with the continued adoption of bandwidth-intensive devices, as well as the escalating demand for Internet-delivered video. We focus on providing high-bandwidth infrastructure solutions, which we believe are essential in the consumption and delivery of bandwidth-intensive applications and services by our customers, enterprise customers and communications service providers. We believe our disciplined approach to providing these critical access rights and to our targeted customers enables us to offer a high level of customer satisfaction, while at the same time being responsive to changes in the marketplace.

 

·

Target Large Consumers of Bandwidth.    Our asset base and product suite are geared for large users of bandwidth with high connectivity requirements. The majority of our customers require more than 10G of bandwidth; many of our customers require multiple terabytes of bandwidth. Our revenue base is generally characterized by customers with a high bandwidth spend, consisting of a large number of individual access rights and services and increasing bandwidth infrastructure access and service demand. Tailoring our operations around these offerings, services and customers allows us to operate efficiently and meet these large consumers’ requirements for mission-critical infrastructure.

 

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Leverage Our Extensive Asset Base by Selling Offerings on Our Network.    Targeting our sales efforts to solutions that utilize our existing fiber network and data centers enables us to limit our reliance on third-party providers. We believe this in turn produces high incremental margins, which helps us expand consolidated margins, achieve attractive returns on the capital we invest, and realize significant levered free cash flow. We also believe this enables us to provide our customers with a superior level of customer satisfaction due to the relative ease in responding to customer inquiries over our one contiguous fiber network. Our existing network enables us to offer additional bandwidth access to our existing customers as their capacity needs grow.

 

·

Continue to Expand Our Infrastructure Assets.    Our ability to rapidly add network capacity to meet the growing requirements of our customers is an important component of our value proposition. We will continue to seek opportunities to expand our network reach where supporting customer contracts provide an attractive return on our investment. The expansion of our network footprint also provides the ancillary benefit of bringing other potential customer locations within reach. We design our network with additional capacity so that increasing bandwidth capacity can be deployed economically and efficiently. Capital expenditures are primarily success-based.

 

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Leverage Our Existing Relationships and Assets to Innovate.    We believe we possess a unique set of assets and management systems designed to deliver customer solutions tailored to specific trends we observe in the marketplace. Our high-energy, entrepreneurial culture fosters employee innovation on an ongoing basis in response to specific customer requirements. Furthermore, we plan to continue to commit capital to new lines of infrastructure businesses that leverage our existing assets. For example, we are expanding into small cell infrastructure solutions provided to wireless services providers. These solutions entail us providing dark fiber and related offerings from a small cell location back to a mobile switching center. We provide access for the fiber-based transport over our existing and/or newly constructed fiber

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network sections. In addition, we provide network-neutral space and power for wireless service providers to co-locate their small cell antennas and ancillary equipment.

 

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Intelligently Expand Through Acquisitions.    We have made 45 acquisitions to date for an aggregate purchase price, net of cash, of $6.7 billion. We believe we have consistently demonstrated an ability to acquire and effectively integrate companies, realize cost synergies, and organically grow revenue post-acquisition. Acquisitions have the ability to increase the scale of our operations, which in turn affords us the ability to expand our operating leverage, extend our network reach, and broaden our customer base.  We believe our ability to realize significant cost synergies through acquisitions provides us with a competitive advantage in future consolidation opportunities within our industry. We will continue to evaluate potential acquisition opportunities and are regularly involved in acquisition discussions. We will evaluate these opportunities based on a number of criteria, including expected return on capital, the quality of the infrastructure assets, the fit within our existing businesses, the opportunity to expand our network, and the opportunity to create value through the realization of cost synergies.

Our Competitive Strengths

We believe the following are among our core competitive strengths and enable us to differentiate ourselves in the markets where we operate:

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Unique Bandwidth Infrastructure Assets.    We believe replicating our extensive metro, regional, and long-haul fiber assets would be difficult given the significant capital, time, permitting, and expertise required. Our fiber spans 128,910 route miles and 11,867,276 fiber miles (representing an average of 403 geographic markets in the United States, Canada and Europe), and connects to approximately 35,000 buildings. The majority of the markets that we serve and buildings to which we connect have few other networks capable of providing similar high-bandwidth infrastructure and connectivity solutions, which we believe provides us with a sustainable competitive advantage in these markets, and positions us as a mission-critical infrastructure supplier to the largest users of bandwidth. We believe that the vast majority of customers using our network, including our lit bandwidth, fiber-to-the-tower, and dark fiber customers, choose our offerings due to the quality and reach of our network, and the ability our network gives us to innovate and scale with their growing bandwidth needs. Additionally, we operate 50 data center facilities, which are located in eleven of the most important carrier hotels in the U.S., Canada and France. This collective presence, combined with our high network density, creates a network effect that helps us retain existing customers and attract new customers. From July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2018, exclusive of acquisitions, we have invested approximately $2.3 billion of capital in our network, including expansion and maintenance expenditures.

 

·

Strong Revenue Growth, Visibility, and Durability.    We have consistently grown our organic revenue, as gross installed revenue has exceeded churn processed in every quarter since we began reporting in March 2010. We believe our exposure to the enduring trend of increasing bandwidth consumption, combined with our focused execution, have allowed us to achieve this consistent growth. We typically provide access to our bandwidth infrastructure for a fixed monthly recurring fee under multi-year contracts. Our contract terms range from one year to twenty years. Our customers use our bandwidth infrastructure to support their mission-critical networks and applications. The switching costs and effort required to replace our solutions can be high, particularly for the solutions within our Fiber Solutions and Transport segments, given the criticality of our solutions and the potential cost and disruption. We believe that increasing bandwidth needs combined with the mission-critical nature of our solutions provided under multi-year contracts create strong revenue growth, visibility, and durability, which support our decision-making abilities and financial stability. We believe that our industry’s high barriers to entry, our economies of scale and scope and customer switching costs contribute to our strong financial performance.

 

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Customer Service and Ability to Innovate for Our Customers.    Our sales and product professionals work closely with potential and existing customers to design tailored high-bandwidth connectivity solutions across our SPGs to meet specific, varying, and evolving customer needs. We are focused on delivering high-quality, reliable access to our customers. We achieve this by leveraging our contiguous network to expand with our customers as they seek to build scale, coverage, and/or performance. Additionally, our

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focus on targeting the largest and most sophisticated users of bandwidth keeps our sales, engineering, and customer satisfaction organizations attuned to the latest technologies, architectures, and solutions that our customers may seek to implement. We believe our willingness to innovate for our customers and our dedication to customer satisfaction help establish our position as an important infrastructure supplier and allow us to attract new customers and businesses, sell an increasing amount of access rights and services to our existing customers, and reduce customer turnover.

 

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Strategic, Operational and Financial Transparency Excellence.    As part of our strategy to attract and retain the largest users of bandwidth infrastructure, we have completed and integrated 45 acquisitions to date. Our acquired assets have been combined to create a contiguous network with the ability to provision and maintain local, regional, national, or international high-bandwidth connections across our SPGs. Our entire network, sales and churn activity, installation pipeline, NPV commission plans, and all customer contracts are managed through an integrated operating and reporting platform, which gives management strong visibility into the business and improves our ability to drive return-maximizing decisions throughout the organization. Our focus on operational and financial transparency not only allows us to be very nimble in attacking various market opportunities, but also provides us the ability to deliver disclosure that our stockholders and other stakeholders can use to accurately judge management’s performance from a capital allocation, financial, and operational perspective.

 

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Financially Focused and Entrepreneurial Culture.    Virtually all operational and financial decisions we make are driven by the standard of maximizing the value of our enterprise. Our sales commission plans use an NPV-based approach with the goal of encouraging the proper behavior within our sales force, and our SPGs are held to group level equity internal rate of return (“IRR”) targets set by management. To align individual behaviors with stockholder objectives, equity compensation is used throughout the Company, and our compensation plans include a larger equity component than we believe is standard in our industry.  In addition to striving for industry-leading operational and growth outcomes to drive value creation, we are prepared to use debt capacity to enhance stockholder returns, but not at the expense of other stakeholders and only at levels we believe are in the long-term interests of the Company, our customers, and our stockholders. Finally, our owners’ manual, mission, and investor transparency all serve to enhance cultural alignment across the Company and our stockholders.

 

·

Experienced Management with Unique Leadership Approach.    We have assembled an experienced management team that we believe is well-qualified to lead our Company and execute our strategy. Our management team has substantial industry experience in managing and designing fiber network and network-neutral colocation and interconnection facilities and in selling and marketing bandwidth infrastructure. In addition, our management team has significant experience in acquiring and integrating bandwidth infrastructure and assets. Our management team is a cohesive unit with a common history that in many cases precedes the Company’s founding. We also believe that our approach to leadership - operationally, financially, culturally - is unique in our industry and differentiates us from our competitors.

Our Competition

Fiber Solutions

Given the requirement to own the underlying bandwidth infrastructure assets (e.g., fiber networks) in order to provide dark fiber solutions, the competitive environment tends to be less intensive for these products and the barriers to entry are high. The degree of competition and parties in competition vary by physical infrastructure and by individual market and fiber route.

Competition in dark fiber solutions tends to be less intense than for lit bandwidth infrastructure solutions primarily because a provider must predominantly own and operate a high count fiber network covering a substantial portion of the geographical demand in order to compete for a customer’s business. The uniqueness, density and depth (i.e., high fiber count) of our metro, regional, and long-haul fiber network sections is therefore a key differentiating factor. In addition, given that providing dark fiber solutions often includes some degree of network expansion, dark fiber providers must also have internal project management expertise and access to capital to execute on the expansion aspect of the business. Due to the custom nature of most dark fiber opportunities, many larger lit bandwidth infrastructure providers do not actively market dark fiber as a product, even if they own fiber networks in the desired geographies. As a result,

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competition is often more limited in the dark fiber market and highly dependent on the local (even sub-market) supply and demand environment. Given this dynamic and the generally longer contractual term of dark fiber solutions, dark fiber pricing tends to be more inflationary in nature.

Specific dark fiber competitors vary based on geography, and often a particular solution can be provided by only one to three providers that have sufficient fiber in place in the desired area or route. Historically, these competitors have fallen into two categories: first, privately owned regional bandwidth infrastructure providers with a similar degree of focus (e.g., Fiber Light) and second, single market dark fiber providers with market and fiber construction expertise (e.g., DQE Communications and Edison Carrier Solutions). More recently other multi-geography competitors have emerged due to acquisitions in the industry (e.g., Crown Castle and Uniti).

Competition in mobile infrastructure solutions tends to mirror dark fiber solutions because of the need to own and operate an expansive and deep metro fiber network in order to compete. Given the frequent need to expand upon an existing fiber footprint in order to reach additional cell towers and small cell locations, project management expertise and access to capital is also a key competitive factor. One additional criterion is that wireless carriers prefer to work with a more finite group of mobile infrastructure providers on either a metro or regional geographic basis. As a result, the competitive group tends to match that of dark fiber solutions, with the addition of two competitive groups: first, local cable providers and ILECs who will sometimes break from their retail and small enterprise core focus to compete for FTT business, often as a result of legacy copper or coaxial-based cable provided to these towers; second, microwave backhaul providers who focus on more remote or rural towers that have lesser bandwidth needs that they can serve with less capital-intensive (and less bandwidth-capable) microwave solutions at a lower total cost. Examples of these additional mobile infrastructure competitors are divisions of Comcast, CenturyLink, Crown Castle, Conterra and Mobilitie.

Transport

We believe that some of the key factors that influence our customers’ selection of us as their solution provider are our ability to provide on-net solutions that utilize our fiber network on an end-to-end basis, the availability of high capacity offerings (up to 100G or higher as optical technology advances), the uniqueness, quantity and latency of available intercity and metro routes, the peering capacity and reach of our IP network, the price of the offerings available, and the ongoing level of network availability provided.

Generally, price competition varies depending on the location of the customer’s selected endpoints and the uniqueness of network assets. We face direct price competition when there are other fiber-based providers who have intercity networks that leverage similar fiber routes with similar end to end route latency. Often a particular solution can be provided by only one to three providers that have comparable network reach in place. Typically, these competitors are publicly traded communications service providers that also provide bandwidth infrastructure such as Windstream, TeliaSonera, or Cogent Communications, or in certain geographies are privately-held companies such as EU Networks. We may also compete with large, well-capitalized ILECs that also provide bandwidth infrastructure, such as AT&T Inc. and CenturyLink, Inc., who have a well established and global IP offering. We believe that price competition will continue where our competitors have comparable existing fiber and optical networks. Some of our competitors have long-standing customer relationships, very large enterprise values, and significant access to capital.

Enterprise Networks

Enterprise Networks is focused on offering network connectivity, cloud and cyber security solutions to large multi-site enterprises. The competition is intense and varied for the enterprise IT business, and the specific competitors are based on each of the offering categories and geographies. Our key challenges range from aggressive pricing to an evolving competitive field with the completion of each new merger or acquisition.


From a network connectivity perspective, our competitors range from well-capitalized ILECs that also provide bandwidth infrastructure, such as AT&T Inc., CenturyLink, Inc., and Verizon Communications Inc., or publicly traded communications service providers that also provide bandwidth infrastructure, such as Cogent and Windstream. In some geographies, we also compete with Lightower, GTT and Comcast. For cloud services our competition also varies depending on the type of service. For example, we compete with Dell EMC, HPE and NetApp in the Private Cloud market but we compete with AWS and Rackspace and smaller cloud service providers for Object-Based Storage business. In the area of cybersecurity, the competitive field is vast and specialized and will vary depending on the

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specific security need ranging from infrastructure security, endpoint security, application security, managed security to threat analysis and protection, Internet of Things and data security to name a few.

 

Many of our competitors in the enterprise market are well established with long-standing relationships, and we must compete in a variety of aspects as enterprise IT customers are tech savvy and well informed. As an example, purchasers of network solutions generally base their decisions on the best value, which includes price, route (diversity and latency), flexibility, and customer satisfaction responsiveness. Two of our key competitive challenges are brand recognition and product set awareness. However, we believe we are very competitive when we can communicate our capabilities that include our dense, global fiber network, our ability to implement complex and unique solutions and our focus on customer satisfaction at a price that meets the customer’s budget. With Enterprise Networks, we believe we can aggressively compete with the short list of single source global providers.

 

zColo

   The market for our colocation and interconnection offerings is very competitive. We compete based on location, availability, quality of  facility infrastructure, network carrier density, breadth of network connectivity options, type and quantity of customers in our data centers, and the overall geographic reach of our platform. We compete against both public colocation providers who have large enterprise values, and privately-held colocation providers who are well funded. Some of our competitors have long-standing customer relationships and significant access to capital, which may enable them to materially increase available data center space, and therefore lower overall market pricing for such solutions. A portion of our competitors operate at larger scale in the same markets as us; others compete cross regionally attracting a customer base that values and requires global reach and scale.  We differentiate from our competitors by providing our customers with on-net access to our robust fiber network  and by allowing spend portability between our entire portfolio of communications infrastructure solutions as their needs change.

These focused interconnection and colocation providers include:  Equinix, ‎Coresite,  Cologix,  Flexential,  Digital Realty Trust Inc, and QTS Realty Trust Inc. These companies offer similar solutions and operate in similar markets to us.  Our ability to compete is based on the strategic location of our assets, a highly complementary global fiber network, an aptitude for commercial flexibility in contracts, and a competency in the implementation of colocation and interconnection offerings.

Allstream

Allstream serves business customers throughout the United States and Canada.  Its communications technologies and services include a range of scalable IP, cloud, voice and data solutions that help organizations communicate and collaborate more efficiently and profitably. Our largest competitors in Canada are the incumbent telecommunications companies Bell, TELUS and Rogers.  Our largest U.S. competitors are Masergy, Comcast, WAVE, CenturyLink and Verizon.  We also compete with other telecommunications companies, such as established cable and hydro companies, and smaller companies or re-sellers that have a more limited network.

 

Regulatory Matters

Our operations require that certain of our subsidiaries hold licenses, certificates, and/or other regulatory authorizations from the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”), state Public Utilities Commissions (“PUCs”), European and Canadian telecommunications regulators (such as, Ofcom and ARCEP in Europe and CRTC in Canada) and other foreign regulators, all of which we have obtained and maintain in the normal course of our business. The FCC, State PUCs and foreign regulators generally have the power to modify or terminate a carrier’s authority to provide regulated wireline offerings for failure to comply with certain federal, state and foreign laws and regulations, and may impose fines or other penalties for violations of the same. The State PUCs typically have similar powers with respect to the intrastate offerings that we provide under their jurisdiction. In addition, we are required to submit periodic reports to the FCC, State PUCs, and foreign regulators documenting interstate, intrastate and foreign revenue, among other data, for fee assessments and general regulatory governance, and in some states are required to file tariffs of our rates, terms, and conditions of access and service. In order to engage in certain transactions in these jurisdictions, including changes of control, the encumbrance of certain assets, the issuance of securities, the incurrence of indebtedness, the guarantee of indebtedness of other entities, including subsidiaries of ours, and the transfer of our assets, we are required to provide notice and/or obtain prior approval from certain of these governmental agencies. The construction of additions to our current fiber network is also subject to certain governmental permitting and licensing requirements.

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In addition, our business is subject to various other regulations at the federal, state, local and international levels. These regulations affect the way we can conduct our business and our costs of doing so. However, we believe, based on our examination of such existing and potential new regulations being considered in ongoing FCC and State PUC and European, Canadian and other foreign governmental proceedings, that such regulations will not have a significant impact on us.

Evaluation and Preparation for Potential Real Estate Investment Trust Conversion

On May 3, 2018, we announced that we completed the first phase of our investigation on the advisability and feasibility of a conversion to a real estate investment trust for U.S. federal income tax purposes (a “REIT”). We have begun the next phase of our evaluation and preparation for a potential conversion to a REIT. As part of these efforts, we have begun a direct dialogue with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) in an effort to obtain clarity and support for our position, and we are seeking a private letter ruling (“PLR”) from the IRS. Also, we have begun to execute the organizational changes that are required to operate as a REIT, including the realignment of our business segments to clearly delineate the leasing of network assets from ancillary services and, in particular, the separation and potential divestiture or deconsolidation of our Allstream business segment. These organization changes do not result in any changes to our reportable segments. 

If, following our current phase of evaluation and preparation, we make a definitive decision to convert to a REIT and are successful in qualifying for taxation as a REIT, we will generally be permitted to deduct from federal income taxes the dividends that we pay to our stockholders. The income represented by such dividends would not be subject to federal income taxation at the entity level but would be taxed, if at all, at the stockholder level. Nevertheless, the income of our domestic taxable REIT subsidiaries (each, a “TRS”), which will hold our U.S. operations that may not be REIT-compliant, will be subject, as applicable, to federal and state corporate income tax. Likewise, our foreign subsidiaries will continue to be subject to foreign income taxes in jurisdictions in which they hold assets or conduct operations, regardless of whether held or conducted through TRSs or through entities that are disregarded from us for U.S. federal income tax purposes. Also, we will be subject to a separate corporate income tax on any gains recognized during a specified period (generally 5 years) following the REIT conversion that are attributable to “built-in” gains with respect to the assets that we own on the date we convert to a REIT.

Our ability to qualify for taxation as a REIT will depend upon our continuing compliance following our REIT conversion with various requirements, including requirements related to the nature of our assets, the sources of our income and the distributions to our stockholders. If we fail to qualify for taxation as a REIT, we will be subject to federal income tax at regular corporate income tax rates. Even if we qualify for taxation as a REIT, we may be subject to certain federal, state, local and foreign taxes on our income and property. In particular, while state income tax regimes often parallel the federal income tax regime for REITs described above, many states do not completely follow federal rules and some may not follow them at all.

The current phase of our evaluation and preparation includes seeking a PLR from the IRS. We are requesting that our PLR address whether our revenues from dark and lit fiber satisfy applicable REIT income tests, and our ultimate decision to convert to a REIT may depend upon a favorable ruling from the IRS on this topic. We submitted a PLR request to the IRS in July 2018, but the IRS may not provide a response until 2019 or later or may not respond at all.

At this stage of our evaluation and preparation for a potential conversion to a REIT, we cannot accurately estimate the costs required to support any potential conversion, but we anticipate that our costs would include various administrative costs in addition to certain related tax liabilities.

Website Access and Important Investor Information

We file periodic reports, proxy statements, and other information with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”). The public may read or copy any materials we file with, or furnish to, the SEC at the SEC’s Public Reference Room at 100 F Street, NE, Washington, DC 20549. The public may obtain information on the operation of the Public Reference Room by calling the SEC at 1-800-SEC-0330. The SEC maintains an Internet site (http://www.sec.gov) that contains reports, proxy and information statements, and other information regarding issuers that file electronically with the SEC.

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Our website address is www.zayo.com, and we routinely post important investor information in the “Investors” section of our website at http://investors.zayo.com/. The information contained on, or that may be accessed through, our website is not part of this Annual Report on Form 10-K (this “Annual Report”). You may obtain free electronic copies of our annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K and all amendments to those reports in the “Investors” section of our website under the heading “SEC Filings”. These reports are made available on our website as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file them with the SEC.

We have adopted a written code of ethics applicable to our directors, officers and employees, including our principal executive officer and principal financial and accounting officers (or persons performing similar functions), in accordance with Section 406 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 and the rules of the SEC. In the event that we make any changes to, or provide any waivers from, the provisions of our code of ethics applicable to our executive officers and directors, we intend to disclose these events on our website or in a report on Form 8-K within four business days of such event. This code of ethics is available in the “Corporate Governance” section of our website at http://investors.zayo.com/corporate-governance.

Special Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

Information contained in this Annual Report that is not historical by nature constitutes “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act”) and the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.  These forward-looking statements typically include words such as “believes,” “expects,” “plans,” “intends,” “estimates,” “projects,” “could,” “may,” “will,” “should,” or “anticipates” or the negatives thereof, other variations thereon or comparable terminology, or discuss strategy. No assurance can be given that future results expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements will be achieved, and actual results may differ materially from those contemplated by the forward-looking statements. Such statements are based on management’s current expectations and beliefs and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, those relating to the Company’s financial and operating prospects, current economic trends, future opportunities (including our potential conversion to a real estate investment trust for U.S. federal income tax purposes), ability to retain existing customers and attract new ones, our acquisition strategy and ability to integrate acquired companies and assets and achieve our planned synergies, outlook of customers, reception of new products and technologies, and strength of competition and pricing. Other factors and risks that may affect our business and future financial results are detailed in our SEC filings, including but not limited to those described under “Item 1A. Risk Factors” and “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” contained within this Annual Report. We caution you not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of their respective dates. We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this Annual Report or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events, except as may be required by law.

ITEM 1A. RISK FACTORS

You should carefully consider the risks described below as well as the other information contained in this Annual Report. If any of the following risks or uncertainties actually occurs, our business, financial condition, results of operations, cash flow and prospects could be materially and adversely affected.

Risks Related to our Business

We have historically generated net losses since our inception and could incur losses in the future.

Prior to Fiscal 2017, we have historically generated net losses since our inception and could incur losses in the future. These net losses primarily have been driven by significant depreciation, amortization, interest expense, and stock-based compensation. During Fiscal 2018, we had depreciation and amortization expense of $747.4 million, stock-based compensation expense of $96.7 million, and interest expense of $299.8 million. At June 30, 2018, we had $5,876.6 million of total debt (including capital lease obligations and before any unamortized discounts, premiums and debt issuance costs). We cannot assure you that we will generate net income in the future.

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Since our inception, we have used more cash than we have generated from operations, and we may continue to do so.

Since our inception, we have consistently consumed our entire positive cash flow generated from operating activities with our investing activities. Our investing activities have consisted principally of the acquisition of businesses as well as material additions to property and equipment. We have funded the excess of cash used in investing activities over cash provided by operating activities with proceeds from equity contributions and equity and debt issuances.

We intend to continue to invest in expanding our fiber network and our business and pursuing acquisitions that we believe provide an attractive return on our capital. These investments may continue to exceed the amount of cash flow available from operations after debt service requirements. To the extent that our investments exceed our cash flow from operations, we plan to rely on potential future debt or equity issuances, which could increase interest expense or dilute the interest of our stockholders, as well as cash on hand and borrowings under our revolving credit facility. We cannot assure you, however, that we will be able to obtain or continue to have access to sufficient capital on reasonable terms, or at all, to successfully grow our business.

Our revenue is relatively concentrated among a small number of customers, and the loss of any of these customers could significantly harm our business, financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows.

Our largest single customer, based on recurring revenue, accounted for approximately 8% of our revenue during Fiscal 2018, and total revenues from our top ten customers accounted for approximately 29% of our revenue during Fiscal 2018. We currently depend, and expect to continue to depend, upon a relatively small number of customers for a significant percentage of our revenue. Many of these customers are also competitors for some or all of our offerings. Our customer contracts typically have terms of one to twenty years. Our customers may elect not to renew these contracts. Furthermore, our customer contracts are terminable for cause if we breach a material provision of such contracts. We may face increased competition and pricing pressure as our customer contracts become subject to renewal. Our customers may negotiate renewal of their contracts at lower rates, for fewer offerings or for shorter terms. Many of our customers are in the telecommunications industry, which is undergoing consolidation. To the extent that two or more of our customers combine, they may be able to use their greater size to negotiate lower prices from us and may purchase fewer offerings from us, especially if their networks overlap. If we are unable to successfully renew our customer contracts on commercially acceptable terms, or if our customer contracts are terminated, our business could suffer.

We are also subject to credit risk associated with the concentration of our accounts receivable from our key customers. If one or more of these customers were to become bankrupt, insolvent or otherwise were unable to pay for the access rights or services provided by us, we may incur significant write-offs of accounts receivable or incur impairment charges.

We have numerous customer orders for network expansion to customer sites, including contracts with multiple national wireless carriers to build out our network to additional towers. If we are unable to satisfy new orders or build our network according to contractually specified deadlines, we may incur penalties or suffer the loss of revenue.

Our customers periodically review their telecommunication infrastructure requirements, and may adjust their plans for the purchase of additional access rights or services from us to fit changed market circumstances or strategic priorities. Any such adjustments may affect our sales of new contracts, or the renewal of existing ones, which could impact our revenue growth.

Future acquisitions are a component of our strategic plan, and will include integration and other risks that could harm our business.

We have grown rapidly and intend to continue to acquire complementary businesses and assets, and some of these acquisitions may be large or in new geographic areas where we do not currently operate. This exposes us to the risk that when we evaluate a potential acquisition target we over-estimate the target’s value and, as a result, pay too much for it. We also cannot be certain that we will be able to successfully integrate acquired assets or the operations of the acquired entity with our existing operations. Businesses and assets that we have acquired or may acquire in the future may be subject to unknown or contingent liabilities for which we may have limited or no recourse against the sellers. While we usually require the sellers to indemnify us with respect to breaches of representations and warranties that survive, such indemnification is often limited and subject to various materiality thresholds, a significant deductible or an aggregate cap

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on losses. As a result, there is no guarantee that we will recover any amounts with respect to losses due to breaches by the sellers of their representations and warranties. In addition, the total amount of costs and expenses that we may incur with respect to liabilities associated with acquired properties and entities may exceed our expectations, which may adversely affect our operating results and financial condition.

We have previously engaged in and may continue to engage in acquisitions, such as the AboveNet, Allstream and Electric Lightwave acquisitions that are large or include products outside of the traditional communications infrastructure product base, which may present greater challenges to integrate than other acquisitions and may expose us to different or additional business risks. Difficulties with integration could cause material customer disruption and dissatisfaction, which could in turn increase churn and reduce new sales. Additionally, we may not be able to integrate acquired businesses in a manner that permits us to realize the cost synergies we anticipate in the time, manner, or amount we currently expect, or at all. Our actual cost synergies, cost savings, growth opportunities, and efficiency and operational benefits resulting from any acquisition may be lower and may take longer to realize than we currently expect. In addition, some recently acquired companies have had Adjusted EBITDA margins that were lower than ours, which had a negative impact on our overall Adjusted EBITDA margins. Future acquisitions may also have lower Adjusted EBITDA margins. In addition, as a result of our frequent acquisitions, research analysts’ valuation models may not take into account current acquisitions, or they may not correctly or timely include the effects of such acquisitions, which may cause our reported results to differ from their expectations.

We may incur additional debt to assist in the funding of these potential transactions, which may increase our leverage. Further, additional transactions could cause disruption of our ongoing business and divert management’s attention from the management of daily operations to the closing and integration of the acquired business. Acquisitions also involve other operational and financial risks such as:

·

increased demand on our existing employees and management related to the increase in the size of the business and the possible distraction from our existing business due to the acquisition;

·

loss of key employees and salespeople of the acquired business;

·

liabilities of the acquired business, both unknown and known at the time of the consummation of the acquisition;

·

discovery that the financial statements we relied on to buy a business were incorrect;

·

expenses associated with the integration of the operations of the acquired business;

·

the possibility of future impairment, write-downs of goodwill and other intangibles associated with the acquired business;

·

finding that the offerings and operations of the acquired business do not meet the level of quality of those of our existing offerings and operations; and

·

determining that the internal controls of the acquired business were inadequate.

We are growing rapidly and may not maintain or efficiently manage our growth.

 

We have rapidly grown our company through acquisitions of companies and assets as well as expansion of our own network and the acquisition of new users through our own sales efforts. We also intend to continue to grow our company, including through acquisitions, some of which may be large. Users can be reluctant to switch providers of bandwidth infrastructure because it can involve substantial expense and technical difficulty. That can make it harder for us to acquire new users through our own sales efforts. Our expansion may place strains on our management and our operational and financial infrastructure. Our ability to manage our growth will be particularly dependent upon our ability to:

·

expand, develop, and retain qualified personnel;

·

maintain the quality of our offerings;

·

attract users to switch from their current providers to us in spite of the costs associated with switching providers;

·

maintain and enhance our system of internal controls to ensure timely and accurate reporting; and

·

expand our operational information systems in order to support our growth, including integrating new customers without disruption.

 

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If we fail to hire and retain qualified executives, managers and employees, our operating results could be harmed.

 

Our future success depends on our ability to identify, hire, train and retain executives, managers and employees with real estate, technological, engineering, operational, marketing, sales, administrative and managerial skills. There is a shortage of qualified personnel in several of these fields. We compete with several other companies for this limited pool of potential employees. As our industry increasingly becomes more competitive, it could become especially difficult to attract and retain top personnel with skills that are in high demand. In addition, subject to limited exceptions, none of the members of our management team and other key employees have long-term employment agreements. For all these reasons, there is no assurance that our efforts to recruit and retain qualified personnel will be successful.

We have agreements with customers that are dependent on government funding, which may not be available.

We have contracts with customers that include appropriations clauses that permit the customer to terminate the contract if expected government funding for the project to which the contract relates is unavailable.  There is no assurance that the government funding will be available for these contracts and that they will not be terminated. 

In recent years the portion of our revenue relating to government-funded programs such as the E-rate program, a program mandated by Congress in 1996 and implemented by the FCC in 1997 in order to make telecommunications and information access and services more affordable for schools and libraries in America, has increased.  There can be no assurance that the E-rate program and other such programs will continue or will continue to be funded at current levels in the future.

Access and service level agreements in our customer agreements could subject us to liability or the loss of revenue.

Our contracts with customers typically contain access and service level guarantees (including network availability) and delivery date targets, which could enable customers to claim credits and, under certain conditions, terminate their agreements. Our inability to meet our access and service level guarantees could adversely affect our revenue. In Fiscal 2018, lost revenue from failure to meet access and service level guarantees was approximately $1.5 million. While we typically have carve-outs for force majeure events, many events, such as fiber cuts, equipment failure and third-party vendors being unable to meet their underlying commitments with us, could impact our ability to meet our access and service level agreements.

Any failure of our physical infrastructure or offerings could lead to significant costs and disruptions.

Our business depends on providing customers with highly reliable offerings. The offerings we provide are subject to failure resulting from numerous factors, including:

·

human error;

·

power loss;

·

improper building maintenance by the landlords of the buildings in which our data centers are located;

·

physical or electronic security breaches;

·

fire, earthquake, hurricane, flood, and other natural disasters;

·

water damage;

·

the effect of war, terrorism, and any related conflicts or similar events worldwide; and

·

sabotage and vandalism.

Problems within our network or our data centers, whether within our control or the control of our landlords or other third-party providers, could result in interruptions and/or component damage. As current and future customers increase their power usage in our facilities over time, the remaining available power for future customers could limit our ability to grow our business and increase occupancy rates or network density within our existing facilities.  Accordingly, we may not be able to efficiently upgrade or change these systems to meet new demands without incurring significant costs that we may not be able to pass on to our customers. In the past, we have experienced disruptions in our network attributed to component failure and power outages. Although such disruptions have been remedied and the network has been stabilized, there can be no assurance that similar disruptions will not occur in the future. Given the access and service level agreement obligations we typically have in our customer contracts, such disruptions could result in customer credits; however, we cannot assume that our customers will accept these credits as compensation in the future, and we may face additional liability or loss of customers.

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We use franchises, licenses, permits, rights-of-way, conduit leases, fiber agreements, and property leases, which could be canceled or not renewed.

We must maintain rights-of-way, franchises, and other permits from railroads, utilities, state highway authorities, local governments, transit authorities, and others to operate our owned fiber network. We cannot be certain that we will be successful in maintaining these rights-of-way agreements or obtaining future agreements on acceptable terms. Some of these agreements are short-term or revocable at will, and we cannot assure you that we will continue to have access to existing rights-of-way after they have expired or terminated. If a material portion of these agreements are terminated or are not renewed, we might be forced to abandon our network sections, which may result in impairment charges. In order to operate our network, we must also maintain fiber leases and IRU agreements that we have with public and private entities. There is no assurance that we will be able to renew those fiber routes on favorable terms, or at all. If we are unable to renew those fiber routes on favorable terms, we may face increased costs or reduced revenues.

In order to expand our network to new locations, we often need to obtain additional rights-of-way, franchises, and other permits. Our failure to obtain these rights in a prompt and cost-effective manner may prevent us from expanding our network, which may be necessary to meet our contractual obligations to our customers and could expose us to liabilities.

If we lose or are unable to renew key real property leases where we have located our POPs, it could adversely affect our offerings and increase our costs, as we would be required to restructure our network and move our POPs.

Our operations, financial performance and liquidity are materially reliant on key suppliers and vendors.

 

We depend on a limited number of suppliers and vendors for technology and services relating to our network infrastructure. To the extent that proprietary technology of a supplier is an integral component of our network, we may have limited flexibility to purchase key network components from alternative suppliers. We also rely on a limited number of software vendors to support our business management systems. In the event it becomes necessary to seek alternative suppliers and vendors, we may be unable to obtain satisfactory replacement supplies or services on economically attractive terms, on a timely basis, or at all, which could increase costs or cause disruptions in our solutions.

We are required to maintain, repair, upgrade, and replace our network and our facilities, the cost of which could materially impact our results and our failure to do so could irreparably harm our business.

Our business requires that we maintain, repair, upgrade, and periodically replace our facilities and portions of our network. This requires management time and capital expenditures. In the event that we fail to maintain, repair, upgrade, or replace essential portions of our network or facilities, it could lead to a material degradation in the level of access and service that we provide to our customers. Portions of our network can be damaged in a number of ways, including by other parties engaged in construction close to our network facilities. In the event of such damage, we will be required to incur expenses to repair the network. We could be subject to significant network repair and replacement expenses in the event a terrorist attack or a natural disaster damages our network. Further, the operation of our network requires the coordination and integration of sophisticated and highly specialized hardware and software. Our failure to maintain or properly operate this can lead to degradations to or interruptions of customer access and services. Our failure to provide proper or satisfactory access or services could result in claims from our customers, early termination of contracts, and damage to our reputation.

Our debt level could negatively impact our financial condition, results of operations, cash flows, and business prospects and could prevent us from fulfilling our obligations under our outstanding indebtedness. In the future, we may incur substantially more indebtedness, which could further increase the risks associated with our leverage.

As of June 30, 2018, our total debt (including capital lease obligations and before any unamortized discounts, premiums or debt issuance costs) was $5,876.6 million, primarily consisting of the following indebtedness incurred by our subsidiaries, Zayo Group, LLC (“ZGL”) and Zayo Capital, Inc. (“Zayo Capital”): $1,430.0 million of 6.00% senior unsecured notes due 2023 (the “2023 Unsecured Notes”), $900.0 million of 6.375% senior unsecured notes due 2025 (the “2025 Unsecured Notes”), $1,650.0 million of 5.75% senior unsecured notes due 2027 (the “2027 Unsecured Notes”, collectively with the 2023 and 2025 Unsecured Notes, the “Notes”), a $493.8 million senior secured term loan facility due 2021, a $1,269.3 million senior secured term loan facility due 2024 (the “Term Loan Facility”) and  $133.5

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million in capital lease obligations. In addition, ZGL and Zayo Capital have a $450.0 million senior secured revolving credit facility (the “Revolver,” and collectively with the Term Loan Facility, the “Credit Facility”), of which $441.9 million was available at June 30, 2018, subject to certain conditions. Subject to the limitations set forth in the indentures (the “Indentures”) governing the Notes and the agreement governing the Credit Facilities (the “Credit Agreement”), ZGL may incur additional indebtedness (including additional first lien obligations) in the future. If new indebtedness is added to our current levels of indebtedness, the related risks that we now face in light of our current debt level, including our possible inability to service our debt, could intensify.  Our level of debt could have important consequences, including the following:

·

making it more difficult for us to satisfy our obligations under our debt agreements;

·

requiring us to dedicate a substantial portion of our cash flow from operations to required payments on debt, thereby reducing the availability of cash flow for working capital, capital expenditures, and other general business activities;

·

limiting our ability to obtain additional financing in the future for working capital, capital expenditures, acquisitions, and general corporate and other activities;

·

limiting our flexibility in planning for, or reacting to, changes in our business and the industry in which we operate;

·

increasing our vulnerability to both general and industry-specific adverse economic conditions;

·

placing us at a competitive disadvantage relative to less leveraged competitors; and

·

preventing us from raising the funds necessary to repurchase the Notes tendered to ZGL upon the occurrence of certain changes of control, which would constitute a default under the Indentures.

Cash payments for interest, net of capitalized interest, which are reflected in our cash flows from operating activities, during the year ended June 30, 2018 were $280.2 million, and represented 29% of our cash flows from operating activities. Cash payments related to principal payments on our debt obligations (including capital leases) during the year ended June 30, 2018 were $13.4 million (exclusive of our $310.7 million prepayment on our Term Loan Facility), which are reflected in our cash flows from financing activities, and represented 1.4% of our cash flows from operating activities during the period.

We may not be able to generate enough cash flow to meet our debt obligations.

Our future cash flow may be insufficient to meet our debt obligations and commitments. Any insufficiency could negatively impact our business. A range of economic, competitive, business, regulatory, and industry factors will affect our future financial performance, and, as a result, our ability to generate cash flow from operations and to pay our debt. Many of these factors, such as economic and financial conditions in our industry and the U.S. or the global economy, or competitive initiatives of our competitors, are beyond our control.

If we do not generate enough cash flow from operations to satisfy our debt obligations, we may have to undertake alternative financing plans, such as:

·

reducing or delaying capital investments;

·

raising additional capital;

·

refinancing or restructuring our debt; and

·

selling assets.

We cannot assure you that we would be able to implement alternative financing plans, if necessary, on commercially reasonable terms, or at all, or that implementing any such alternative financing plans would allow us to meet our debt obligations.

If ZGL is unable to meet its debt service obligations, it would be in default under the terms of the Indentures and the Credit Agreement, permitting acceleration of the amounts due on the Notes and under the Credit Agreement and eliminating our ability to draw on the Revolver. If the amounts outstanding under the Credit Facilities, the Notes, or other future indebtedness were to be accelerated, we could be forced to file for bankruptcy.

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Our debt agreements contain restrictions on our ability to operate our business and to pursue our business strategies, and our failure to comply with these covenants could result in an acceleration of our indebtedness.

The Indentures and the Credit Agreement each contain, and agreements governing future debt issuances may contain, covenants that restrict ZGL’s ability to, among other things:

·

incur additional indebtedness and issue preferred stock;

·

pay dividends or make other distributions with respect to any equity interests or make certain investments or other restricted payments;

·

create liens;

·

sell or otherwise dispose of assets, including capital stock of subsidiaries;

·

incur restrictions on the ability of its restricted subsidiaries to pay dividends or make other payments to it;

·

consolidate or merge with or into other companies or transfer all, or substantially all, of its assets;

·

engage in transactions with affiliates;

·

engage in business other than telecommunications; and

·

enter into sale and leaseback transactions.

As a result of these covenants, we are limited in the manner in which we may conduct our business, and as a result we may be unable to engage in favorable business activities or finance future operations or capital needs. The ability to comply with some of the covenants and restrictions contained in the Indentures and the Credit Agreement may be affected by events beyond our control. If market or other economic conditions deteriorate, ZGL’s ability to comply with these covenants may be impaired.

In addition, the Credit Agreement requires ZGL to comply with a maximum secured leverage ratio at the end of any fiscal quarter in the event that usage of the Revolver exceeds 35% of the commitments thereunder. Our ability to comply with this ratio may be affected by events beyond our control. These restrictions limit our ability to plan for or react to market conditions, meet capital needs, or otherwise constrain our activities or business plans. They also may adversely affect our ability to finance our operations, enter into acquisitions, or engage in other business activities that would be in our interest.

A failure to comply with the covenants, ratios, or tests in the Indentures, the Credit Agreement or the agreement governing any future indebtedness could result in an event of default under the Indentures, the Credit Agreement or such agreement governing any future indebtedness, as applicable, which if not cured or waived could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, and results of operations.

An event of default under the Indentures or the agreement governing any future indebtedness could lead to the acceleration of the obligations under the Notes or such future indebtedness, as applicable. An event of default under the Credit Agreement would allow the lenders to declare all borrowings outstanding to be due and payable or to terminate the ability to borrow under the Revolver. If the amounts outstanding under the Credit Facilities, the Notes or other future indebtedness were to be accelerated, we cannot assure that our assets would be sufficient to repay in full the money owed. In such a situation, we could be forced to file for bankruptcy. 

Our future tax liabilities are not predictable or controllable. If we become subject to increased levels of taxation, our financial condition and operations could be negatively impacted.

We provide telecommunication infrastructure and related solutions in multiple jurisdictions across the United States, Canada and Europe and are, therefore, subject to multiple sets of complex and varying tax laws and rules. We cannot predict the amount of future tax liabilities to which we may become subject. Any increase in the amount of taxation incurred as a result of our operations or due to legislative or regulatory changes would be adverse to us. In addition, we may become subject to income tax audits by many tax jurisdictions throughout the world. It is possible that certain tax positions taken by us could result in tax liabilities for us. While we believe that our current provisions for taxes are reasonable and appropriate, we cannot assure you that these items will be settled for the amounts accrued or that we will not identify additional exposures in the future.

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The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will have a substantial impact on us.

 

On December 22, 2017, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the "Act") was signed into law. The Act significantly changes U.S. tax law by reducing the U.S. corporate income tax rate and making certain changes to U.S. taxation of income earned by foreign subsidiaries, capital expenditures, interest expense and various other items. Although we generally believe the net impact of this Act will be favorable to us, the Act is quite complex and certain of its features are expected to adversely impact us. Our views on the Act’s ultimate impact on us are subject to change as we complete additional analysis, review regulations that will need to be adopted to implement the Act and monitor other future developments related to the Act’s adoption.

We cannot assure you whether, when or in what amounts we will be able to use our net operating losses, or when they will be depleted.

At June 30, 2018, we had approximately $1,917.2 million of U.S. federal net operating losses (“NOLs”), which relate primarily to prior acquisitions. Under certain circumstances, these NOLs can be used to offset our future U.S. federal taxable income. If we experience an “ownership change,” as defined in Section 382 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”) and related Treasury regulations, at a time when our market capitalization is below a certain level, our ability to use the NOLs could be substantially limited. This limit could impact the timing of the usage of the NOLs, thus accelerating cash tax payments or causing NOLs to expire prior to their use, which could affect the ultimate realization of the NOLs.

Transactions that we enter into, as well as transactions by existing or future 5% stockholders that we do not participate in, could cause us to incur such an “ownership change.”

These limitations could cause us not to pursue otherwise favorable acquisitions and other transactions involving our capital stock, or could reduce the net benefits to be realized from any such transactions. Despite this, we expect to use substantially all of these NOLs and certain other deferred tax attributes as an offset to our future U.S. federal taxable income, although the timing of that use will depend upon our future earnings and future tax circumstances. If and when our NOLs are fully utilized, we expect that the amount of our cash flow dedicated to the payment of federal taxes will increase substantially, except to the extent that we convert to a REIT and are successful in qualifying for and maintaining taxation as a REIT.

We may be subject to interest rate risk and increasing interest rates may increase our interest expense.

Borrowings under each of the Credit Facilities bear, and our future indebtedness may bear, interest at variable rates and expose us to interest rate risk. If interest rates increase, our debt service obligations on the variable rate indebtedness would increase even though the amount borrowed remained the same, and our net income and cash available for servicing our indebtedness would decrease.

The international operations of our business expose us to risks that could materially and adversely affect the business.

We have operations and investments outside of the United States, as well as rights to undersea cable capacity extending to other countries, that expose us to risks inherent in international operations. These include:

·

general economic, social and political conditions;

·

the difficulty of enforcing agreements and collecting receivables through certain foreign legal systems;

·

tax rates in some foreign countries may exceed those in the U.S.;

·

foreign currency exchange rates may fluctuate, which could adversely affect our results of operations and the value of our international assets and investments;

·

foreign earnings may be subject to withholding requirements or the imposition of tariffs, exchange controls or other restrictions;

·

difficulties and costs of compliance with foreign laws and regulations that impose restrictions on our investments and operations, with penalties for noncompliance, including loss of licenses and monetary fines;

·

difficulties in obtaining licenses or interconnection arrangements on acceptable terms, if at all; and

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·

changes in U.S. laws and regulations relating to foreign trade and investment.

We may as part of our expansion strategy increase our exposure to international investments and operations.

On June 23, 2016, the United Kingdom (“U.K.”) held a referendum in which voters approved an exit from the European Union (“E.U.”), commonly referred to as “Brexit.”  As a result of the referendum, the British government has begun negotiating the terms of the U.K.’s future relationship with the E.U. Although it is unknown what those terms will be, it is possible that there will be increased regulatory complexities that may adversely affect our operations and financial results.

Our international operations are subject to the laws and regulations of the U.S. and many foreign countries, including the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the Canadian Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act, U.K.  Bribery Act and Privacy Laws.

We are subject to a variety of laws regarding our international operations, including the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the Canadian Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act and the U.K. Bribery Act of 2010, and regulations issued by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the U.S. Bureau of Industry and Security, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control and various other foreign governmental agencies. We cannot predict the nature, scope or effect of future regulatory requirements to which our international operations might be subject or the manner in which existing laws might be administered or interpreted. Actual or alleged violations of these laws could lead to enforcement actions and financial penalties that could result in substantial costs.

The U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the Canadian Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act, the U.K. Bribery Act and similar anti-bribery laws in other jurisdictions generally prohibit companies and their intermediaries from making improper payments for the purpose of obtaining or retaining business. Recent years have seen a substantial increase in anti-bribery law enforcement activity with more frequent and aggressive investigations and enforcement proceedings by both the Department of Justice and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, increased enforcement activity by non-U.S. regulators and increases in criminal and civil proceedings brought against companies and individuals. We have created and implemented a program for compliance with anti-bribery laws. Because our anti-bribery internal control policies and procedures have only recently been implemented, we may have increased exposure to reckless or criminal acts committed by our employees or third-party intermediaries. Violations of these anti-bribery laws may result in criminal or civil sanctions, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and liquidity.

Additionally, privacy requirements in the EU are stricter than in the US. These requirements include rules restricting the flow of data across borders, the General Data Protection Regulation and other data privacy requirements. These restrictions may cause companies to localize data, decline to make use of services provided by our customers in the US, and otherwise impact the use of our offerings. Notwithstanding the existence of programs such as the Privacy Shield program in place between the US and EU, European companies and individuals may be reluctant to use US companies, which could negatively impact our business.

Our international operations expose us to currency risk.

We conduct a portion of our business using the British Pound Sterling, Canadian Dollar and the Euro. Appreciation of the U.S. Dollar adversely affects our consolidated revenue. Since we tend to incur costs in the same currency in which those operations realize revenue, the effect on operating income and operating cash flow is largely mitigated. However, if the U.S. Dollar were to appreciate significantly, future revenues, operating income and operating cash flows could be materially affected. 

We may be vulnerable to security breaches that could disrupt our operations and adversely affect our business.

Despite security measures and business continuity plans, our information technology networks and infrastructure may be vulnerable to damage, disruptions, or shutdowns due to unauthorized access, computer viruses, cyber-attacks, distributed denial of service, and other security breaches. An attack on or security breach of our network could result in interruption or cessation of access and services, our inability to meet our access and service level commitments, and potentially compromise customer data transmitted over our network. We cannot guarantee that our security measures will not be circumvented, resulting in network failures or interruptions that could impact our network availability and

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have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, and results. We may be required to expend significant resources to protect against such threats. If an actual or perceived breach of our security occurs, the market perception of the effectiveness of our security measures could be harmed, and we could lose customers. Any such events could result in legal claims or penalties, disruption in operations, misappropriation of sensitive data, damage to our reputation, and/or costly response measures, which could adversely affect our business. Although we maintain insurance coverage that may, subject to policy terms and conditions (including self-insured deductibles, coverage restrictions and monetary coverage caps), cover certain aspects of our cyber risks, such insurance coverage may be unavailable or insufficient to cover our losses. 

 

We may be subject to litigation that could have a substantial, adverse impact on our business 

 

From time to time we are subject to litigation, including claims related to employment, commercial transactions, construction and real estate.  Irrespective of its merits, litigation may be both lengthy and disruptive to our operations and could cause significant expenditure and diversion of management attention. While we do not view any of our current litigation to be material, current or future litigation could have a material adverse effect on our financial position and operating results, on the trading price of our securities and on our ability to access the capital markets.

If we are unable to renew collective bargaining agreements on satisfactory terms, or we experience strikes, work stoppages or labor unrest, our business could suffer. 

Certain of the employees that we acquired in our Allstream acquisition are covered by collective bargaining agreements. There can be no assurance that such agreements will be renewed on terms favorable to us. If we are unable to renew such agreements on satisfactory terms, our labor costs could increase, which would affect our profit margins. Further, changes in governmental regulations relating to labor relations, or otherwise in our relationship with our employees, including our unionized employees, may result in strikes, lockouts or other work stoppages, any of which could have an adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.

Volatility in the equity markets, interest rates or other factors could substantially increase our pension costs.

We sponsor defined benefit pension plans for certain of our Canadian employees. The difference between plan obligations and assets, or the funded status of the plans, significantly affects the net periodic benefit costs of our pension plans and the ongoing funding requirements of those plans. Among other factors, changes in interest rates, mortality rates, early retirement rates, investment returns, minimum funding requirements and the market value of plan assets can affect the level of plan funding, cause volatility in the net periodic pension cost and increase our future funding requirements. Legislative and other governmental regulatory actions may also increase funding requirements for our pension plans’ benefits obligation.

A significant increase in our pension benefit obligations or funding requirements could have a negative impact on our ability to invest in the business and adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.

 

Lapses in disclosure controls and procedures or internal control over financial reporting could materially and adversely affect our operations, profitability or reputation.

 

Management identified material weaknesses in our internal control over financial reporting in Fiscal 2016 that were remediated during Fiscal 2017. There can be no assurance that our disclosure controls and procedures will be effective in the future or that we will not experience a material weakness or significant deficiency in internal control over financial reporting. Any such lapses or deficiencies may materially and adversely affect our business, operating results or financial condition, may result in restatement of our consolidated financial statements, restrict our ability to access the capital markets, require us to expend significant resources to correct the lapses or deficiencies, expose us to regulatory or legal proceedings, including litigation brought by private individuals, subject us to fines, penalties or judgments, harm our reputation, or otherwise cause a decline in investor confidence and our stock price.

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Risks Related to Our Industry

We could face increased competition from companies in the telecommunications and media industries that currently do not focus on bandwidth infrastructure.

Many of our competitors in the bandwidth infrastructure space are other focused bandwidth infrastructure providers that offer bandwidth infrastructure on a regional or local basis. In some cases, we also compete with communications service providers who also own certain infrastructure assets and make them available to customers as an infrastructure offering. These communication service providers include ILECs, such as AT&T, Verizon, and CenturyLink, and cable television companies, such as Comcast and Cox. 

Some of these competitors have greater financial, managerial, sales and marketing, and research and development resources than we do and are able to promote their brands with significantly larger budgets. Most of them are also our customers. If ILECs and cable television companies focus on providing bandwidth infrastructure, it could have a material adverse effect on us. A few of these competitors also have significant fiber assets that they principally employ in the provision of their communications services. If any of these competitors with greater resources and/or significant fiber assets chose to focus those resources on bandwidth infrastructure, our ability to compete in the bandwidth infrastructure industry could be negatively impacted. To the extent that communication service providers, cable television companies, and other media companies choose to distribute their content over their own networks that could reduce demand for our offerings. Additionally, significant new entrants into the bandwidth infrastructure industry would increase supply, which could cause prices for our offerings to decline.

Consolidation among companies in the telecommunications and cable television industries could further strengthen our competitors and adversely impact our business.

The telecommunications and cable television industries are intensely competitive and continue to undergo significant consolidation. There are many reasons for consolidation in these industries, including the desire for communications and cable television companies to acquire network assets in regions where they currently have no or insufficient amounts of owned network infrastructure. The consolidation within the industry may cause customers to disconnect from us and move to their own networks, or consolidate buying with other bandwidth infrastructure providers. Additionally, consolidation in the industry could further strengthen our competitors, give them greater financial resources and geographic reach, and allow them to put additional pressure on prices for bandwidth infrastructure.

Certain of our offerings and facilities are subject to regulation that could change or otherwise impact us in an adverse manner.

Communications offerings and facilities are subject to domestic and international regulation at the federal, state, and local levels. These regulations affect our business and our existing and potential competitors. Our electronic communications offerings and electronic communications facilities in Europe, Canada and elsewhere are subject to regulatory oversight by national communications regulators, such as the United Kingdom’s Office of Communications (“Ofcom”) and France’s Autorité de Régulation des Communications Électroniques et des Postes (“ARCEP”). In addition, in the United States, both the FCC and the state public utility commissions or similar regulatory authorities (“State PUCs”) typically require us to maintain licenses, file periodic reports, pay various regulatory fees and assessments, and otherwise comply with their regulations. Similarly, in Canada, we are subject to the rules and oversight of the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (“CRTC”), the Minister of Innovation Science and Economic Development, as well as the laws and regulations of other federal and provincial bodies. Such compliance can be costly and burdensome and may affect the way we conduct our business. Delays in receiving required regulatory approvals (including approvals relating to acquisitions, investments, or financing activities or for interconnection agreements with other carriers), the enactment of new and adverse international or domestic legislation or regulations (including those pertaining to broadband initiatives and net-neutrality), or the denial, modification or termination by a regulator of any approval or authorization, could have a material adverse effect on our business. Further, the current regulatory landscape is subject to change through judicial review of current legislation and rulemaking by the FCC, Ofcom, ARCEP, CRTC and other domestic, foreign, and international rulemaking bodies. These bodies regularly consider changes to their regulatory framework and fee and other obligations. Changes in current regulation or determinations that we have not complied with existing regulations and obligations may make it more difficult to obtain the approvals necessary to operate our business, significantly increase the regulatory fees and other assessments to which we are subject, subject us to potential enforcement proceedings or audits that could result in fines or other penalties

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where noncompliance has occurred, or have other adverse effects on our future operations in the United States, Canada and/or Europe.  Elimination or relaxation of regulatory rights and protections could harm our business, results of operations and financial condition. In Canada, ILECs had been mandated by the CRTC to provide access to its local loops to third party service providers, including Zayo, at regulated rates. On June 5, 2018, the CRTC granted forbearance from regulation of local loops to an ILEC from which we currently access unbundled local loops. We must now either obtain access to such local loops pursuant to commercial agreement with such ILEC or migrate the services to alternative sources. If we are unable to reach agreement with the ILEC, or reach agreement with alternative sources, or to reach agreements on economic terms, our business, results of operations and financial condition will be negatively impacted. 

We may be liable for the material that content providers distribute over our network.

Although we believe our liability for third party information stored on or moved through our network is limited, the liability of private network operators is affected both by changing technology and evolving legal principles. As a private network provider, we could be exposed to legal claims relating to third party content stored or moved through our network. Such claims could involve, among others, allegations of defamation, invasion of privacy, copyright infringement, or aiding and abetting restricted activities such as online gambling or pornography. If we decide to implement additional measures to reduce our exposure to these risks, or if we are required to defend ourselves against these kinds of claims, our operating results and financial condition could be negatively affected.  

Unfavorable general global economic conditions could negatively impact our operating results and financial condition.

Unfavorable general global economic conditions could negatively affect our business. Although it is difficult to predict the impact of general economic conditions on our business, these conditions could adversely affect the affordability of, and customer demand for, our offerings, and could cause customers to delay or forgo purchases of our offerings. One or more of these circumstances could cause our revenue to decline. Also, our customers may not be able to obtain adequate access to credit, which could affect their ability to purchase our offerings or make timely payments to us. The current economic conditions, including federal fiscal and monetary policy actions, may lead to inflationary conditions in our cost base, particularly in our lease and personnel related expenses. This could harm our margins and profitability if we are unable to increase prices or reduce costs sufficiently to offset the effects of inflation in our cost base. For these reasons, among others, if challenging economic conditions persist or worsen, our operating results and financial condition could be adversely affected.

Disruptions in the financial markets could affect our ability to obtain debt or equity financing or to refinance our existing indebtedness on reasonable terms or at all.

Disruptions in the financial markets could impact our ability to obtain debt or equity financing, or lines of credit, in the future as well as impact our ability to refinance our existing indebtedness on reasonable terms or at all, which could affect our strategic operations and our financial performance and force modifications to our operations.

Changes in our usage patterns or industry practice could result in increasing peering costs for our IP network.

Peering agreements with other ISPs have allowed us to access the Internet and exchange data with these providers. In most cases, we peer with these ISPs on a payment-free basis, referred to as settlement-free peering. We plan to continue to leverage this settlement-free peering. If other providers change the terms upon which they allow settlement-free peering or if changes in Internet usage patterns, including the ratio of inbound to outbound traffic, cause us to fall below the criteria that these providers use in allowing settlement-free peering, the costs of operating our Internet backbone will likely increase. Any increases in costs could have an adverse effect on our margins and our ability to compete in the IP market.

Terrorism and natural disasters could adversely impact our business.

The ongoing threat of terrorist activity and other acts of war or hostility have had, and may continue to have, an adverse effect on business, financial and general economic conditions. Effects from these events and any future terrorist activity, including cyber terrorism, may, in turn, increase our costs due to the need to provide enhanced security, which would adversely affect our business and results of operations. Terrorist activity could damage or destroy our Internet infrastructure and may adversely affect our ability to attract and retain customers, raise capital, and operate and maintain our network access points. We are particularly vulnerable to acts of terrorism because of our large data center presence in New York. We are also susceptible to other catastrophic events such as major natural disasters, extreme weather, fires, or

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similar events that could affect our headquarters, our other offices, or our network, infrastructure, or equipment, all of which could adversely affect our business.

Rapid changes in technology could affect our ability to compete for business customers.

 

The technology used enable deliver communications services has changed rapidly in the past and will likely continue to do so in the future. If we are unable to keep up with such changes make available next generation technology, we may not be able to offer competitive offerings to our business customers. This could adversely affect our ability to compete for business customers, which, in turn, would adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.

Risks Related to Ownership of Our Common Stock

Our stock price may be volatile or may decline regardless of our operating performance.

The market price of our common stock may fluctuate significantly in response to numerous factors, many of which are beyond our control. In addition to the other risk factors described herein, these factors include:

·

actual or anticipated fluctuations in our revenue and other operating results;

·

announcements by us or our competitors of significant technical innovations, acquisitions, strategic partnerships, joint ventures or capital commitments;

·

changes in operating performance and stock market valuations of other companies in our industry;

·

the addition or loss of significant customers;

·

fluctuations in the trading volume of our common stock or the size of our public float;

·

announcements by us with regard to the effectiveness of our internal controls and our ability to accurately report our financial results;

·

price and volume fluctuations in the overall stock market, including as a result of trends in the economy as a whole;

·

general economic, legal, regulatory and market conditions unrelated to our performance;

·

lawsuits threatened or filed against us; and

·

other events or factors, including those resulting from war, incidents of terrorism or responses to these events.

The stock markets have experienced extreme fluctuations in price and trading volume that have caused and will likely continue to cause the stock prices of many telecommunications companies to fluctuate in a manner unrelated or disproportionate to the operating performance of those companies. In the past, stockholders have instituted securities class action litigation following periods of declining stock prices. If we were to become involved in securities litigation, we could face substantial costs and be forced to divert resources and the attention of management from our business, which could adversely affect our business.

If securities or industry analysts do not continue to publish or publish inaccurate or unfavorable research about our business, our stock price and trading volume could decline.

The trading market for our common stock depends on the research and reports that securities or industry analysts publish about us or our business. Certain securities and industry analysts currently publish research reports with respect to our common stock and certain of our debt securities. If they fail to publish reports about us or our securities regularly, or otherwise cease to cover our Company, demand for our stock could decrease and the trading price of our stock could decline. A downgrade of our stock or the publication of inaccurate or unfavorable research about our business would likely cause our stock price to decline.

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Sales of substantial amounts of our common stock in the public market, or the perception that they might occur, could reduce the price that our common stock might otherwise attain.

We cannot predict what effect, if any, future issuances by us of our common stock will have on the market price of our common stock. In addition, shares of our common stock that we issue in connection with an acquisition may not be subject to resale restrictions. The market price of our common stock could drop significantly if certain large holders of our common stock, or recipients of our common stock in connection with an acquisition, sell all or a significant portion of their shares of common stock or are perceived by the market as intending to sell these shares other than in an orderly manner. In addition, these sales could impair our ability to raise capital through the sale of additional common stock in the capital markets.

Delaware law and our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and bylaws contain provisions that could delay or discourage takeover attempts that our stockholders may consider favorable.

Provisions in our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws may have the effect of delaying or preventing a change of control or changes in our management. These provisions include the following:

·

our board of directors is divided into three classes serving staggered three-year terms;

·

our board of directors has the right to elect a director to fill a vacancy created by the expansion of the board of directors or due to the resignation or departure of an existing board member;

·

our directors are not elected by cumulative voting, which would allow less than a majority of stockholders to elect director candidates;

·

advance notice of nominations for election to the board of directors or for proposing matters that can be acted upon at a stockholders meeting is required;

·

our board of directors may alter our bylaws without obtaining stockholder approval;

·

our board of directors may issue, without stockholder approval, up to 50,000,000 shares of preferred stock with terms set by the board of directors, certain rights of which could be senior to those of our common stock;

·

stockholders do not have the right to call a special meeting of stockholders or to take action by written consent in lieu of a meeting;

·

approval of at least two-thirds of the shares outstanding and entitled to vote thereon is required to amend or repeal, or adopt any provision inconsistent with, our amended and restated bylaws or the provisions of our amended and restated certificate of incorporation regarding, among other items, the election and removal of directors; and

·

directors may be removed from office only for cause.

We have elected not to be governed by the provisions of Section 203 of the Delaware General Corporation Law (the “DGCL”); however, our amended and restated certificate of incorporation includes similar provisions providing that we may not engage in certain “business combinations” with any “interested stockholder” for three years following the time that such stockholder became an interested stockholder, unless the business combination is approved in a prescribed manner. A “business combination” includes, among other things, a merger, asset or stock sale or other transaction resulting in a financial benefit to the interested stockholder. An “interested stockholder” is a person who, together with affiliates and associates, owns, or did own, within three years prior to the determination of interested stockholder status, 15% or more of a corporation’s voting stock. Pursuant to our amended and restated certificate of incorporation, the term “interested stockholder” does not include certain entities listed in our certificate of incorporation that were preferred equity holders of Communications Infrastructure Investments, LLC (“CII”) at the time of our IPO (the “Exempt Stockholders”), each of their respective affiliates, and any of their respective direct or indirect transferees and any group as to which such persons are a party.

These provisions may prohibit large stockholders (with the exception of the Exempt Stockholders described above), particularly those owning 15% or more of our outstanding voting stock, from merging or combining with us.  These provisions in our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and our amended and restated bylaws and the

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DGCL could discourage potential takeover attempts, could reduce the price that investors are willing to pay for shares of our common stock in the future and could potentially result in the market price of our common stock being lower than it otherwise would be.

In addition, our debt agreements may require very significant payments if we have a change of control, which reduces the possibility that such an event will occur.

Our directors, executive officers, holders of more than 5% of our common stock, together with their affiliates, continue to have substantial control over the company.

Our directors, executive officers, and holders of more than 5% of our common stock, together with their affiliates, beneficially owned, in the aggregate, approximately 21% of our outstanding common stock as of June 30, 2018. As a result, these stockholders, acting together, would have the ability to effectively control the outcome of matters submitted to our stockholders for approval, including the election of directors and any merger, consolidation or sale of all or substantially all of our assets. In addition, these stockholders, acting together, would have the ability to effectively control our management and affairs. Accordingly, this concentration of ownership might harm the market price of our common stock by:

·

delaying, deferring or preventing a change in control;

·

impeding a merger, consolidation, takeover or other business combination involving us; or

·

discouraging a potential acquirer from making a tender offer or otherwise attempting to obtain control.

Unless we convert to a REIT, we do not intend to pay dividends for the foreseeable future.

We have never declared or paid cash dividends on our common stock. ZGL’s ability to pay dividends to us is limited by the Credit Agreement and Indentures, which may in turn limit our ability to pay dividends on our common stock. Our ability to pay dividends may also be restricted by the terms of any future credit agreement or any future debt or preferred securities of ours or of our subsidiaries. Unless we convert to a REIT and are successful in qualifying for and maintaining taxation as a REIT, we currently intend to retain all available funds and any future earnings for use in the operation and expansion of our business, and therefore we do not anticipate declaring or paying any dividends in the foreseeable future. As a result, you may only receive a return on your investment in our common stock if the market price of our common stock increases. See “Risks Related to a possible REIT Conversion” for further information regarding REIT conversion.

Risks Related to a Possible REIT Conversion

Although we have completed the first phase of our investigation on the advisability and feasibility of a conversion to a real estate investment trust for U.S. federal income tax purposes (a “REIT”), we can provide no assurance that we will ultimately pursue a REIT conversion or whether any such conversion will be successful.

In May 2018, we announced that we completed the first phase of our investigation on the advisability and feasibility of a conversion to a REIT. In order to successfully convert to a REIT, there are significant implementation and operational complexities we would need to satisfy, including completing internal reorganizations and realignment of business segments, modifying accounting, financial systems and reporting, receiving stockholder approvals and making any required stockholder payouts, and possibly obtaining a private letter ruling, or PLR, from the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”). The timing and outcome of many of these conditions are beyond our control. In particular, if a favorable PLR is necessary or desirable to effect our REIT conversion, we cannot provide assurance that the IRS will ultimately provide us with such a PLR or when it might do so.

At the conclusion of our investigation and preparations for converting to a REIT, our board of directors may decide not to convert to a REIT, or to delay such a conversion, if our board of directors determines in its sole discretion that a REIT conversion is not in the best interests of us or our stockholders or because it identifies alternatives that it believes could create stockholder value more effectively than conversion to a REIT. Thus, we can provide no assurance that we will ultimately pursue a REIT conversion or whether any such conversion will be successful.

31


 

If we convert to a REIT, we may, nevertheless, not qualify or remain qualified for taxation as a REIT.

If we convert to a REIT, we plan to operate in a manner consistent with the REIT qualification rules. However, we cannot provide assurance that we will, in fact, qualify for taxation as a REIT or that we will remain so qualified. Qualification for taxation as a REIT involves the application of highly technical and complex provisions of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”), to our operations as well as various factual determinations concerning matters and circumstances not entirely within our control. There are limited judicial or administrative interpretations of applicable REIT provisions. Changes in legislation, federal tax rules and interpretations thereof could also prevent us from remaining qualified for taxation as a REIT or realizing the benefits for us and our stockholders of qualifying for taxation as a REIT.

If we fail to qualify for taxation as a REIT in any taxable year after we convert to a REIT, and are not then entitled to relief under the Code, we will be subject to U.S. federal and state income tax on our taxable income at regular corporate income tax rates with respect to each such taxable year for which the statute of limitations remains open. In addition, we will be subject to monetary penalties for the failure. Failing to qualify for taxation as a REIT in any year following a REIT conversion would significantly reduce our net earnings and cash flow because of our additional tax liability and the penalties for the years involved, which could significantly impact our financial condition.

If we convert to a REIT, we may not realize the anticipated benefits to stockholders, including the achievement of significant tax savings for us and regular distributions to our stockholders.

If we convert to a REIT, we cannot provide assurance that our stockholders will experience benefits attributable to our qualification and taxation as a REIT, including our ability to reduce our corporate level federal and state income taxes through distributions to our stockholders and to make regular distributions to our stockholders. The realization of the anticipated benefits to our stockholders will depend on numerous factors, many of which are outside our control. In addition, future cash distributions to our stockholders will depend on our cash flows, as well as the impact of alternative, more attractive investments as compared to such distributions. Further, changes in legislation or the federal and state tax rules could adversely impact the benefits of qualifying for taxation as a REIT.

If we convert to a REIT, complying with REIT qualification requirements may limit our flexibility or cause us to forego otherwise attractive opportunities.

To qualify for taxation as a REIT, we must satisfy tests concerning, among other things, the sources of our income, the nature and diversification of our assets, the amounts we distribute to our stockholders and the ownership of our common stock. For example, under the Code, no more than 20% of the value of the assets of a REIT may be represented by securities of one or more of our TRSs, and similar rules apply to other nonqualifying assets. These limitations may affect our ability to make large investments in other non-REIT qualifying operations or assets. In addition, in order to maintain qualification for taxation as a REIT, we will be required to distribute at least 90% of our REIT taxable income annually, determined without regard to the dividends paid deduction and excluding any net capital gains. Even if we maintain qualification for taxation as a REIT, we will be subject to U.S. federal income tax at regular corporate income tax rates for our undistributed REIT taxable income, as well as U.S. federal income tax at regular corporate income tax rates for income recognized by our TRSs. Because of these distribution requirements, we will likely not be able to fund future capital needs and investments from operating cash flow. As such, compliance with REIT tests may hinder our ability to make certain attractive investments, including the purchase of significant nonqualifying assets and the material expansion of non-real estate activities.

If we convert to a REIT, we may restructure or issue debt or raise equity to satisfy conversion costs and the requirement that we distribute our accumulated earnings and profits.

Depending on the size and timing of any cash outlays and any required distribution of our accumulated earnings and profits associated with a possible conversion to a REIT, we may restructure or issue debt and/or issue equity to fund these disbursements, even if the then-prevailing market conditions are not favorable for these transactions. Whether we issue equity, at what price and amount and other terms of any such issuances will depend on many factors, including alternative sources of capital, our then existing leverage, our need for additional capital, market conditions and other factors beyond our control. If we raise additional funds through the issuance of equity securities or debt convertible into equity securities, the percentage of stock ownership by our existing stockholders may be reduced. In addition, new equity

32


 

securities or convertible debt securities could have rights, preferences, and privileges senior to those of our current stockholders, which could substantially decrease the value of our securities owned by them. Depending on the share price we are able to obtain, we may have to sell a significant number of shares in order to raise the capital we deem necessary to execute our long-term strategy, and our stockholders may experience dilution in the value of their shares as a result. Furthermore, satisfying any conversion costs and any required distribution of our accumulated earnings and profits may increase the financing we need to fund capital expenditures, future growth and expansion initiatives. As a result our indebtedness could increase. See “Risks Related to our Business” for further information regarding our substantial indebtedness.

There are uncertainties relating to the costs associated with implementing a possible REIT conversion.

Our estimates of any tax and other costs to convert to a REIT may not be accurate, and such costs may actually be higher than our estimates due to unanticipated outcomes in the process of obtaining a PLR, changes in our business support functions and support costs, the unsuccessful execution of internal planning, including restructurings and cost reduction initiatives, or other factors.

Restrictive loan covenants could prevent us from satisfying REIT distribution requirements.

If we convert to a REIT, restrictions in our credit facility and our indentures may prevent us from satisfying our REIT distribution requirements, which would prevent us from qualifying for taxation as a REIT. If we are unable to renegotiate our credit facility and our indentures to remove certain applicable restrictions and if these limits prevent us from distributing 100% of our REIT taxable income, we would be subject to federal corporate income tax, and potentially a nondeductible excise tax, on the retained amounts. See “Risks Related to our Business” for further information on our restrictive loan covenants.

We have no experience operating as a REIT, which may adversely affect our business, financial condition or results of operations if we convert to a REIT.

We have no experience operating as a REIT and our senior management has no experience operating a REIT. Our pre-REIT operating experience may not be sufficient to prepare us to operate successfully as a REIT. If we convert to a REIT, our inability to operate successfully as a REIT, including the failure to maintain our qualification for taxation as a REIT, could adversely affect our business, financial condition or results of operations.

ITEM 1B. UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS

None.

ITEM 2. PROPERTIES

Our principal properties are our fiber optic network and its component assets. We own a majority of the communications equipment required for operating the network and our business. As of June 30, 2018, we own or lease approximately 128,910 route miles or 11,867,276 fiber miles. We provide colocation and interconnection offerings utilizing our own data centers located within major carrier hotels and other strategic buildings in 50 locations throughout the United States, Canada and Europe. We generally do not own the buildings where we provide our colocation interconnection offerings; however, the zColo group manages approximately 1,034,000 square feet of licensable colocation space. See “Item 1. Business” for additional discussion related to our network and colocation properties.

We lease our corporate headquarters in Boulder, Colorado as well as regional offices and sales, administrative and other support offices. Our corporate headquarters located at located at 1821 30th Street, Unit A, Boulder, Colorado is approximately 42,000 square feet. We lease properties to locate the POPs necessary to operate our network. Office space is leased in the markets where we maintain our network and generally averages 17,000 square feet. Each of our business units utilize these facilities.  The majority of our leases have renewal provisions at either fair market value or a stated escalation above the last year of the current term.

ITEM 3. LEGAL PROCEEDINGS

In the ordinary course of business, we are from time to time party to various litigation matters that we believe are incidental to the operation of our business. We record an appropriate provision when the occurrence of loss is probable

33


 

and can be reasonably estimated. We cannot estimate with certainty our ultimate legal and financial liability with respect to any such pending litigation matters, and it is possible one or more of them could have a material adverse effect on us. However, we believe that the outcome of any such pending litigation matters will not have a material adverse effect upon our results of operations, our consolidated financial condition, or our liquidity.

ITEM 4. MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES

Not Applicable

34


 

PART II

ITEM 5. MARKET FOR REGISTRANT’S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED SHAREHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES

Holders of Our Common Stock

Our common stock has traded on the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”) under the symbol “ZAYO” since October 17, 2014. The following table sets forth, for the periods indicated, the high and low sales prices per share of our common stock as reported on the NYSE. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Year Ended June 30, 2018

 

High

 

Low

First Quarter

 

 

35.58

 

 

 

29.73

 

Second Quarter

 

37.26

 

 

33.56

 

Third Quarter

 

37.95

 

 

33.05

 

Fourth Quarter

 

37.80

 

 

32.91

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Year Ended June 30, 2017

 

High

 

Low

First Quarter

 

 

30.59

 

 

 

27.16

 

Second Quarter

 

35.65

 

 

29.48

 

Third Quarter

 

34.42

 

 

29.30

 

Fourth Quarter

 

35.49

 

 

30.65

 

On August 17, 2018, the closing price per share of our common stock on the NYSE was $37.85 per share, and there were approximately 141 stockholders of record of our common stock. The number of holders of record is based upon the actual number of holders registered at such date and does not include holders of shares in “street name” or persons, partnerships, associates, corporations or other entities in security position listings maintained by depositories.

Stock Performance Graph

The following graph illustrates the cumulative total stockholder return on our common stock from our IPO in October 2014 through June 30, 2018, compared to the S&P 500 TR Index and the NASDAQ Telecommunications Index. The comparison assumes a hypothetical investment in our common stock and in each of the foregoing indices of $100 at October 22, 2014, and assumes that all dividends were reinvested. Shareholder returns over the indicated period are based on historical data and should not be considered indicative of future shareholder returns. The graph and related disclosure in no way reflect our forecast of future financial performance.

Picture 2

35


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

October 17, 2014

June 30, 2015

June 30, 2016

June 30, 2017

June 30, 2018

Zayo Group Holdings, Inc. Common Stock

$100

$116.76 

$126.71

$140.09

 $165.23

S&P 500 TR Index

$100

$110.85

$115.24

$135.70

$155.07

NASDAQ Telecommunications Index

$100

$109.97

$108.86

$123.89

$146.54

The above performance graph shall not be deemed to be incorporated by reference by means of any general statement incorporating by reference this Annual Report on Form 10-K into any filing under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, except to the extent that the Company specifically incorporates such information by reference, and shall not otherwise be deemed filed under such acts.

Dividend Policy

No dividends have been declared or paid on our shares of common stock. Unless we convert to a REIT and are successful in qualifying for and maintaining taxation as a REIT, we currently intend to retain all available funds and any future earnings for use in the operation and expansion of our business, and therefore we do not anticipate paying any cash dividends in the foreseeable future. Any future determination to pay dividends will be at the discretion of our board of directors and will depend upon our financial condition, results of operations, cash flows, capital requirements, and other factors that our board of directors deems relevant, including requirements necessary to qualify for and maintain taxation as a REIT if we convert to a REIT. We are a holding company, and substantially all of our operations are carried out by ZGL and its subsidiaries. ZGL’s ability to pay dividends to us is limited by the Credit Agreement and Indentures, which may in turn limit our ability to pay dividends on our common stock. Our ability to pay dividends may also be restricted by the terms of any future credit agreement or any future debt or preferred securities.

Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

The following table presents our purchase of equity securities reportable during the three months ended June 30, 2018.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Period

    

Total Number
of Shares
Purchased

    

Average
Price Paid
per Share

    

Total Number of
Shares Purchased
as Part of Publicly
Announced Plans
or Programs (1)

    

Remaining Dollar Value of
Shares that May Yet Be
Purchased Under the Plans
or Programs (in millions)

April 1 - April 30, 2018

 

 —

 

$

 —

 

 —

 

$

 —

May 1 - May 31, 2018

 

2,749,079

 

 

34.02

 

2,749,079

 

 

406,466,373

June 1 - June 30, 2018

 

 —

 

 

 —

 

 —

 

 

 —

Total

 

2,749,079

 

$

34.02

 

2,749,079

 

$

406,466,373

 

(1)

On May 7, 2018, our Board of Directors authorized a six-month share repurchase program for up to $500 million of our common stock from time to time using a variety of methods, including open market purchases, privately negotiated transactions and other means in accordance with federal securities laws. The authorization expires in November 2018, and may be suspended or discontinued at any time.

 

36


 

ITEM 6. SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA

The following table presents selected historical consolidated financial information for Zayo Group Holdings, Inc. for the periods and as of the dates indicated. The selected historical consolidated financial information as of and for the years ended June 30, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, and 2014 is derived from, and qualified by reference to, our audited consolidated financial statements and should be read in conjunction with such audited consolidated financial statements and related notes and “Item 7: Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” included elsewhere in this Annual Report.  These historical results are not necessarily indicative of the results to be expected in the future.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Year Ended June 30,

 

    

2018

    

2017

    

2016

    

2015

    

2014

 

 

(in millions, except for per share data)

Consolidated Statements of Operations Data

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Revenue

 

$

2,604.0

 

$

2,199.8

 

$

1,721.7

 

$

1,347.1

 

$

1,123.2

Operating costs and expenses

 

 

2,179.1

 

 

1,826.0

 

 

1,481.4

 

 

1,178.1

 

 

1,067.1

Operating income

 

 

424.9

 

 

373.8

 

 

240.3

 

 

169.0

 

 

56.1

Other expenses, net

 

 

(296.9)

 

 

(269.7)

 

 

(308.0)

 

 

(333.1)

 

 

(200.4)

Income/(loss) from continuing operations before income taxes

 

 

128.0

 

 

104.1

 

 

(67.7)

 

 

(164.1)

 

 

(144.3)

Provision/(benefit) for income taxes

 

 

26.1

 

 

18.4

 

 

8.5

 

 

(8.8)

 

 

37.3

Income/(loss) from continuing operations

 

 

101.9

 

 

85.7

 

 

(76.2)

 

 

(155.3)

 

 

(181.6)

Earnings from discontinued operations, net of income taxes

 

 

 —

 

 

 —

 

 

 —

 

 

 —

 

 

2.3

Net income/(loss)

 

$

101.9

 

$

85.7

 

$

(76.2)

 

$

(155.3)

 

$

(179.3)

Weighted-average shares used to compute net loss per share:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Basic

 

 

247.3

 

 

243.9

 

 

243.3

 

 

235.4

 

 

223.0

Diluted

 

 

248.5

 

 

246.8

 

 

243.3

 

 

235.4

 

 

223.0

Income/(loss) from continuing operations per share:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Basic and diluted

 

$

0.41

 

 

0.35

 

 

(0.31)

 

 

(0.66)

 

 

(0.81)

Earnings from discontinued operations per share:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Basic and diluted

 

$

—  

 

 

—  

 

 

—  

 

 

—  

 

 

0.01

Net income/(loss) per share:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Basic and diluted

 

$

0.41

 

$

0.35

 

$

(0.31)

 

$

(0.66)

 

$

(0.80)

Consolidated Balance Sheet Data (at period end):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cash and cash equivalents

 

$

256.7

 

$

220.7

 

$

170.7

 

$

308.6

 

$

297.4

Property and equipment, net

 

 

5,447.2

 

 

5,016.0

 

 

4,079.5

 

 

3,299.2

 

 

2,822.4

Total assets

 

 

9,216.8

 

 

8,739.4

 

 

6,727.5

 

 

6,094.6

 

 

4,981.7

Long-term debt and capital lease obligations, including current portion

 

 

5,828.6

 

 

5,639.3

 

 

4,136.0

 

 

3,701.4

 

 

3,179.0

Total stockholders' equity

 

 

1,489.1

 

 

1,410.5

 

 

1,219.2

 

 

1,211.2

 

 

416.4

 

 

 

37


 

ITEM 7. MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATION

Information contained or incorporated by reference in this Annual Report on Form 10-K (this “Annual Report”), and in other filings by Zayo Group Holdings, Inc. (the “Company,” “we” or “us”) with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) that is not historical by nature constitutes “forward-looking statements” within the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, and can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as “believes,” “expects,” “plans,” “intends,” “estimates,” “projects,” “could,” “may,” “will,” “should,” or “anticipates,” or the negatives thereof, other variations thereon or comparable terminology, or by discussions of strategy. No assurance can be given that future results expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements will be achieved, and actual results may differ materially from those contemplated by the forward-looking statements. Such statements are based on our current expectations and beliefs and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, those relating to our financial and operating prospects, current economic trends, future opportunities, ability to retain existing customers and attract new ones, our acquisition strategy and ability to integrate acquired companies and assets, outlook of customers, reception of new products and technologies, strength of competition and pricing, and potential organizational strategies that we may opt to pursue in the future. Other factors and risks that may affect our business and future financial results are detailed in our SEC filings, including, but not limited to, those described under “Item 1A: Risk Factors” and in this “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.” We caution you not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of their respective dates. We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this Annual Report or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events, except as may be required by law.

The following discussion and analysis should be read together with our audited consolidated financial statements and the related notes appearing elsewhere in this Annual Report.

Amounts presented in this Item 7 are rounded. As such, rounding differences could occur in period-over-period changes and percentages reported throughout this Item 7.

 

In May 2018, we announced that we completed the first phase of our investigation on the advisability and feasibility of a conversion to a real estate investment trust for U.S. federal income tax purposes (a “REIT”). Please see “Evaluation and Preparation for Potential REIT Conversion” in the below “Overview”.

 

Overview

 

Introduction

 

We are a large and fast growing provider of access to bandwidth infrastructure in the United States (“U.S.”), Europe and Canada. Our products and offerings enable our customers’ mission-critical, high-bandwidth applications, such as cloud-based computing, video, mobile, social media, machine-to-machine connectivity, and other bandwidth-intensive applications. Our key products and offerings include leased dark fiber, fiber to cellular towers and small cell sites, dedicated wavelength connections, Ethernet, IP connectivity, cloud-based computing and storage products and other high-bandwidth offerings. We provide access to our bandwidth infrastructure and other offerings over a unique set of dense metro, regional, and long-haul fiber network sections and through our interconnect-oriented data center facilities. Our fiber network sections and data center facilities are critical components of the overall physical network architecture of the Internet and private networks. Our customer base includes some of the largest and most sophisticated users of bandwidth infrastructure, such as wireless service carriers; telecommunications service carriers; financial services companies; social networking, media, and web content companies; education, research, and healthcare institutions; and governmental agencies. We typically provide customers with access to our bandwidth infrastructure solutions for a fixed monthly recurring fee under contracts that vary between one and twenty years in length. We operate our business with a unique focus on capital allocation and financial performance with the ultimate goal of maximizing equity value for our stockholders. Our core values center on partnership, alignment, and transparency with our three primary constituent groups – employees, customers, and stockholders.

On October 22, 2014, we completed an initial public offering (“IPO”) of shares of our common stock, which were listed on the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”) under the ticker symbol “ZAYO”. Prior to the IPO, we were a direct,

38


 

wholly owned subsidiary of Communications Infrastructure Investments, LLC ("CII"). Our primary operating subsidiary is Zayo Group, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company (“ZGL”), and we are headquartered in Boulder, Colorado.

Our fiscal year ends June 30 each year, and we refer to the fiscal year ended June 30, 2018 as “Fiscal 2018,” the fiscal year ended June 30, 2017 as “Fiscal 2017,” and the fiscal year ended June 30, 2016 as “Fiscal 2016.”

Reportable Segments and our Strategic Product Groups

We use the management approach to determine the segment financial information that should be disaggregated and presented. The management approach is based on the manner by which management has organized the segments within the Company for making operating decisions, allocating resources, and assessing performance. With the continued increase in our scope and scale, effective April 1, 2018, our chief operating decision maker ("CODM"), who is our Chief Executive Officer, implemented certain organizational changes to the management and operation of the business that directly impact how the CODM makes resource allocation decisions and manages the Company. The change in structure had the impact of re-aligning our existing Strategic Product Groups (“SPGs”) within our existing segments. The changes in structure also resulted in changes in how the Company measures the relative burden each segment bears of indirect and corporate related costs, and in adjustments to intercompany pricing which more closely align to third party pricing on the products and offerings which are exchanged between our SPGs. See footnote 16-Segment Reporting, in our consolidated financial statements for further description of the changes.  Where practicable, changes to all prior period financial and operational metrics have been recasted in our Annual Report for comparability.  We have six reportable segments as described below:

Fiber Solutions. Through the Fiber Solutions segment, we provide access to raw bandwidth infrastructure to customers that require control of their internal networks. These solutions include dark fiber, dedicated lit network sections and mobile infrastructure (fiber-to-the-tower and small cell). Dark fiber is a physically separate and secure, private platform for dedicated bandwidth. We lease dark fiber pairs (usually 2 to 12 total fibers) to our customers, who “light” the fiber using their own optronics. Our mobile infrastructure solutions permit direct fiber connections to cell towers, small cells, hub sites, and mobile switching centers. Fiber Solutions customers include carriers and other communication service providers, Internet service providers, wireless service providers, major media and content companies, large enterprises, and other companies that have the expertise to run their own fiber optic networks or require interconnected technical space. The contract terms in the Fiber Solutions segment tend to range from three to twenty years.

Transport. The Transport segment provides access to lit bandwidth infrastructure solutions over our metro, regional, and long-haul fiber network sections. The segment uses customer-accessed optronics to light the fiber, and our customers pay for access based on the amount and type of bandwidth they require. The offerings within this segment include Wavelengths, Ethernet, SONET, and wholesale IP. We target customers who require a significant amount of bandwidth across their networks. Transport customers include carriers, content providers, financial services companies, healthcare, government entities, education institutions and other medium and large enterprises. The contract terms in this segment tend to range from two to five years.

Enterprise Networks. The Enterprise Networks segment provides connectivity and lit bandwidth telecommunication solutions to medium and large enterprises. Our offerings within this segment include Internet, wide area networking products, managed products and cloud-based computing and storage products. Solutions range from point-to-point data connections to multi-site managed networks to international outsourced IT infrastructure environments.  The contract terms in the Enterprise Networks segment tend to range from one to ten years.

Zayo Colocation (zColo).  The Colocation segment provides data center infrastructure solutions to a broad range of enterprise, carrier, cloud, and content customers. Our offerings within this segment include the provision of colocation space, power and interconnection offerings in North America and Western Europe.  Solutions range in size from single cabinet solutions to 1MW+ data center infrastructure environments. Our data centers also support a large component of networking components for the purpose of aggregating and accommodating customer’s data, voice, Internet, and video traffic. The contract terms in this segment tend to range from two to five years.

Allstream. The Allstream segment provides Cloud VoIP and Data Solutions. This includes a full range of local voice offerings allowing business customers to complete telephone calls in their local exchange, as

39


 

well as make long distance, toll-free and related calls. Unified Communications is the integration of real-time communication services such as telephony (including Cloud-based IP telephony), instant messaging and video conferencing with non-real-time communication services, such as integrated voicemail and e-mail.  Allstream also provides customers with  comprehensive telecommunications services including Ethernet, and IP/MPLS VPN Solutions.

Other. Our Other segment is primarily comprised of Zayo Professional Services (“ZPS”). ZPS provides network and technical resources to customers who wish to leverage our expertise in designing, acquiring and maintaining network sections. The contract terms typically run for one year for a fixed recurring monthly fee in the case of network and on an hourly basis for technical resources (usage revenue). ZPS also generates revenue via telecommunication equipment sales.

Evaluation and Preparation for Potential REIT Conversion 

On May 3, 2018, we announced that we completed the first phase of our investigation on the advisability and feasibility of a conversion to a REIT. We have begun the next phase of our evaluation and preparation for a potential conversion to a REIT. As part of these efforts, we have begun a direct dialogue with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) in an effort to obtain clarity and support for our position, and we are seeking a private letter ruling (“PLR”) from the IRS. Also, we have begun to execute the organizational changes that are required to operate as a REIT, including the realignment of our business segments to clearly delineate the leasing of network assets from ancillary services and, in particular, the separation and potential divestiture or deconsolidation of our Allstream business segment. These organization changes do not result in any changes to our reportable segments.

If, following our current phase of evaluation and preparation, we make a definitive decision to convert to a REIT and are successful in qualifying for taxation as a REIT, we will generally be permitted to deduct from federal income taxes the dividends that we pay to our stockholders. The income represented by such dividends would not be subject to federal income taxation at the entity level but would be taxed, if at all, at the stockholder level. Nevertheless, the income of our domestic taxable REIT subsidiaries (each, a “TRS”), which will hold our U.S. operations that may not be REIT-compliant, will be subject, as applicable, to federal and state corporate income tax. Likewise, our foreign subsidiaries will continue to be subject to foreign income taxes in jurisdictions in which they hold assets or conduct operations, regardless of whether held or conducted through TRSs or through entities that are disregarded from us for U.S. federal income tax purposes. Also, we will be subject to a separate corporate income tax on any gains recognized during a specified period (generally 5 years) following the REIT conversion that are attributable to “built-in” gains with respect to the assets that we own on the date we convert to a REIT.

Our ability to qualify for taxation as a REIT will depend upon our continuing compliance following our REIT conversion with various requirements, including requirements related to the nature of our assets, the sources of our income and the distributions to our stockholders. If we fail to qualify for taxation as a REIT, we will be subject to federal income tax at regular corporate income tax rates. Even if we qualify for taxation as a REIT, we may be subject to certain federal, state, local and foreign taxes on our income and property. In particular, while state income tax regimes often parallel the federal income tax regime for REITs described above, many states do not completely follow federal rules and some may not follow them at all.

The current phase of our evaluation and preparation currently includes seeking a PLR from the IRS. We are requesting that our PLR address whether our revenues from dark and lit fiber satisfy applicable REIT income tests, and our ultimate decision to convert to a REIT may depend upon a favorable ruling from the IRS on this topic. We submitted a PLR request to the IRS in July 2018, but the IRS may not provide a response until 2019 or later or may not respond at all.

At this stage of our evaluation and preparation for a potential conversion to a REIT, we cannot accurately estimate the costs required to support any potential conversion, but we anticipate that our costs would include various administrative costs in addition to certain related tax liabilities.

40


 

Factors Affecting Our Results of Operations

Business Acquisitions

We were founded in 2007 with the investment thesis of building a bandwidth infrastructure platform to take advantage of the favorable Internet, data, and wireless growth trends driving the ongoing demand for access to bandwidth infrastructure, and to be an active participant in the consolidation of the industry. These trends have continued in the years since our founding, despite volatile economic conditions, and we believe that we are well positioned to continue to capitalize on those trends. We have built a significant portion of our network and product offerings through 45 acquisitions through June 30, 2018.

As a result of the growth of our business from these acquisitions and the capital expenditures and increased debt used to fund those investing activities, our results of operations for the respective periods presented and discussed herein are not comparable.

Recent Acquisitions

Neutral Path Communications

On April 17, 2018, we acquired substantially all of the assets of Neutral Path Communications and Near North Partners (collectively, “Neutral Path”) for $33.3 million, which is net of cash acquired and also includes an estimate for a contingent payment based on sales performance through June 30, 2018. The purchase price is subject to net working capital and certain post-closing adjustments. As of June 30, 2018 $4.0 million of the purchase consideration is being held in escrow pending the expiration of the indemnification adjustment period. The all-cash acquisition was funded with cash on hand and was considered an asset purchase for U.S. federal income tax purposes.

Neutral Path is a long haul infrastructure provider, providing access to a fiber network in the Midwest. The transaction added 452 owned route miles, plus additional leased route miles, to our extensive North American network, including a unique high-count fiber route from Minneapolis to Omaha. The fiber footprint provides us with three owned diverse fiber routes out of Minneapolis, Chicago and Omaha.

The results of the acquired Neutral Path business are included in our operating results beginning April 17, 2018.

McLean Data Center

On April 4, 2018, we acquired McLean Data Center (“McLean”) a privately owned data center for an insignificant amount.  The acquisition was considered an asset purchase for U.S. federal income tax purposes and a business combination for accounting purposes. The Company assumed an operating lease obligation and certain assets, such as cash, structural components, equipment and customer contracts equipment and customer contracts.

Spread Networks

On February 28, 2018, we acquired Spread Networks, LLC (“Spread Networks”), a privately-owned telecommunications provider that owns and operates a 825-mile, high-fiber count long haul route connecting New York and Chicago, for net purchase consideration of $130.5 million, net of cash acquired, subject to certain post-closing adjustments. As of June 30, 2018, $0.6 million of the purchase consideration is being held in escrow pending the expiration of the indemnification adjustment period. The all-cash acquisition was funded with cash on hand and was considered an asset purchase for U.S. federal income tax purposes.

The route connects 755 Secaucus Road in Secaucus, New Jersey and 1400 Federal Boulevard in Carteret, New Jersey to 350 Cermak Road in Chicago, Illinois, with additional connectivity to be enabled by Zayo’s existing network. Zayo plans to use the acquired assets to provide a low-latency wavelength route from Seattle to New York.

The results of the acquired Spread Networks business are included in our operating results beginning February 28, 2018.

41


 

Optic Zoo Networks

On January 18, 2018, we acquired Vancouver BC Canada-based Optic Zoo Networks for net purchase consideration of CAD $30.9 million (or $24.8 million), net of cash acquired, subject to certain post-closing adjustments. Optic Zoo Networks owns and provides access to high-capacity fiber in Vancouver. As of June 30, 2018, CAD $3.1 million (or $2.4 million), of the purchase consideration is being held in escrow pending the expiration of the indemnification adjustment period. The acquisition was funded with cash on hand and was considered a stock purchase for U.S. federal income tax purposes.

The transaction strengthens Zayo’s position in Vancouver and Western Canada, adding 103 route miles and more than 100 on-net buildings to Zayo’s Vancouver footprint.

The results of the acquired Optic Zoo Networks business are included in our operating results beginning January 18, 2018.

KIO Networks US Data Centers

On May 1, 2017, we completed the $11.9 million cash acquisition of Castle Access, Inc.’s (d/b/a “KIO Networks US”) San Diego, California data centers.  The two data centers, located at 12270 World Trade Drive and 9606 Aero Drive, total more than 100,000 square feet of space and two megawatts (MW) of critical IT power, with additional power available. The acquisition was funded with cash on hand and was considered a stock purchase for U.S. federal income tax purposes.

The results of the acquired KIO Networks US business are included in our operating results beginning May 1, 2017.

Electric Lightwave Parent, Inc.

On March 1, 2017, we acquired Electric Lightwave Parent, Inc. (“Electric Lightwave”), an infrastructure and telecom provider serving 35 markets in the western U.S., for net purchase consideration of $1,426.6 million, net of cash acquired, subject to certain post-closing adjustments.  The acquisition was funded through debt and cash on hand. 

The acquisition added 8,100 route miles of long haul fiber and 4,000 miles of dense metro fiber across Denver, Minneapolis, Phoenix, Portland, Seattle, Sacramento, San Francisco, San Jose, Salt Lake City, Spokane and Boise, with on-net connectivity to more than 3,100 enterprise buildings and 100 data centers.

The results of the acquired Electric Lightwave business are included in our operating results beginning March 1, 2017.

Santa Clara Data Center

On October 3, 2016, we acquired a data center in Santa Clara, California (the “Santa Clara Data Center”), for net purchase consideration of $11.3 million. The net purchase consideration, which was valued using a discounted cash flow method, will be paid in ten quarterly payments of $1.3 million, beginning in the December 2016 quarter. As of June 30, 2018, the remaining consideration to be paid was $3.8 million.

The Santa Clara Data Center, located at 5101 Lafayette Street, includes 26,900 total square feet and three MW of critical IT power. The facility also includes high-efficiency power and cooling infrastructure, seismic reinforcement and proximity to our long haul dark fiber routes between San Francisco and Los Angeles.

The results of the acquired Santa Clara Data Center business are included in our operating results beginning October 3, 2016.

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Summary of Business Acquisitions

The table below summarizes the dates and purchase prices (which are net of cash acquired and include assumption of debt and capital leases) of all acquisitions and asset purchases through June 30, 2018.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Acquisition

    

Date

    

Acquisition Cost

 

 

 

 

(in millions)

Memphis Networx

 

July 31, 2007

 

$

9.2

PPL Telecom

 

August 24,2007

 

 

46.3

Indiana Fiber Works

 

September 28, 2007

 

 

22.6

Onvoy

 

November 7, 2007

 

 

70.0

Voicepipe

 

November 7, 2007

 

 

2.8

Citynet Fiber Networks

 

February 15, 2008

 

 

99.2

Northwest Telephone

 

May 30, 2008

 

 

5.2

CenturyTel Tri-State Markets

 

July 22, 2008

 

 

2.7

Columbia Fiber Solutions

 

September 30, 2008

 

 

12.1

CityNet Holdings Assets

 

September 30, 2008

 

 

3.4

Adesta Assets

 

September 30, 2008

 

 

6.4

Northwest Telephone California

 

May 26, 2009

 

 

0.0

FiberNet

 

September 9, 2009

 

 

96.6

AGL Networks

 

July 1, 2010

 

 

73.7

Dolphini Assets

 

September 20, 2010

 

 

0.2

American Fiber Systems

 

October 1, 2010

 

 

114.1

360networks

 

December 1, 2011

 

 

317.9

MarquisNet

 

December 31, 2011

 

 

13.6

Arialink

 

May 1 2012

 

 

17.1

AboveNet

 

July 2, 2012

 

 

2,210.0

FiberGate

 

August 31, 2012

 

 

118.3

USCarrier

 

October 1, 2012

 

 

16.1

FTS

 

December 14, 2012

 

 

109.7

Litecast

 

December 31, 2012

 

 

22.2

Core NAP

 

May 31, 2013

 

 

7.1

Corelink

 

August 1, 2013

 

 

1.9

Access

 

October 1, 2013

 

 

40.1

FiberLink

 

October 2, 2013

 

 

43.1

CoreXchange

 

March 4, 2014

 

 

17.2

Geo

 

May 16, 2014

 

 

292.3

Neo

 

July 1, 2014

 

 

73.9

Colo Facilities Atlanta

 

July 1, 2014

 

 

51.9

IdeaTek Systems

 

January 1, 2015

 

 

52.7

Latisys

 

February 23, 2015

 

 

677.8

Viatel

 

December 31, 2015

 

 

102.7

Stream Dallas Data Center

 

December 31, 2015

 

 

16.6

Allstream

 

January 15, 2016

 

 

297.6

Clearview

 

April 1, 2016

 

 

18.3

Santa Clara Data Center

 

October 3, 2016

 

 

11.3

Electric Lightwave

 

March 1, 2017

 

 

1,426.6

KIO Networks US Data Centers

 

May 1, 2017

 

 

11.9

Optic Zoo Networks

 

January 18, 2018

 

 

24.8

Spread Networks

 

February 28, 2018

 

 

130.5

McLean Data Center

 

April 4, 2018

 

 

 —

Neutral Path Communications

 

April 17, 2018

 

 

33.3

Less portion allocated to the discontinued operations of Onvoy, LLC

 

 

 

 

(62.3)

Total

 

 

 

$

6,658.7

 

43


 

We completed each of the acquisitions described above, with the exception of Voicepipe and Corelink, with cash raised through combinations of equity issuances and the incurrence of debt. We acquired Voicepipe from certain existing CII equity holders in exchange for CII preferred units, and we acquired Corelink with a combination of cash and CII preferred units.

Substantial Indebtedness

As of June 30, 2018 and June 30, 2017, long-term debt was as follows:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Date of

 

 

 

Outstanding as of

 

 

Issuance or most
recent amendment

    

Maturity

    

Interest
Payments

    

Interest Rate

    

June 30,

2018

   

June 30,
2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(in millions)

Term Loan Facility due 2021

 

Jan 2017

 

Jan 2021

 

Monthly

 

LIBOR +2.00%

 

$

493.8

 

$

498.8

B-2 Term Loan Facility

 

Feb 2018

 

Jan 2024

 

Monthly

 

LIBOR +2.25%

 

 

1,269.3

 

 

1,429.9

6.00% Senior Unsecured Notes

 

Jan & Mar 2015

 

Apr 2023

 

Apr/Oct

 

6.00%

 

 

1,430.0

 

 

1,430.0

6.375% Senior Unsecured Notes

 

May 2015 & Apr 2016

 

May 2025

 

May/Nov

 

6.375%

 

 

900.0

 

 

900.0

5.75% Senior Unsecured Notes

 

Jan, Apr & Jul 2017

 

Jan 2027

 

Jan/Jul

 

5.75%

 

 

1,650.0

 

 

1,350.0

Total obligations

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5,743.1

 

 

5,608.7

Unamortized premium/(discounts), net

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11.6

 

 

(3.2)

Unamortized debt issuance costs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(59.6)

 

 

(67.8)

Carrying value of debt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5,695.1

 

 

5,537.7

Less current portion

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(5.0)

 

 

(5.0)

Total long-term debt, less current portion

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

$