Verizon on Monday said it will buy XO Communications’ fiber-optic network business in a deal valued at $1.8 billion.
The deal is expected to close in the first half of 2017.
For Verizon, the acquisition will bolster its enterprise and wholesale businesses. XO is selling its fiber IP and Ethernet networks. Verizon added that it will also use the XO assets to make its cell network denser.
Verizon also will lease XO’s wireless spectrum with an option to buy at the end of 2018.
XO is owned by activist investor Carl Icahn. Icahn bought the company’s debt in 2001, but XO filed for bankruptcy and then emerged in 2003. Icahn said: