FTE Networks joins force with NYC contractor Benchmark Builders

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Image from the Benchmark Builders website

FTE Networks, Inc., a network infrastructure solutions provider in the technology and communications industries, says it has joined forces with privately held New York contractor Benchmark Builders, Inc.

FTE says the transaction will allow it “to deliver integrated network services, cutting-edge technology, and construction management services on the largest and most complex projects, from conception to completion.”

Benchmark offers FTE an established platform to aggressively roll-out FTE’s “compute to the edge” installations in New York City and the surrounding region. “This ground-breaking technology allows building owners to provide the best broadband access at significant savings to both landlords and tenants, while creating revenue generating opportunities for landlords,” the company said.

Benchmark president Fred Sacramone will continue as president and become a member of the FTE Networks board. Senior management of Benchmark will remain the same, and the acquisition will provide new opportunities to the employees of both businesses, FTE says. (FTE is traded on the over-the-counter market.)

“We believe that this transaction offers tremendous benefits to our clients, stockholders, and employees – and significantly accelerates our strategy of developing an integrated technology and construction management offering,” said Michael Palleschi, FTE’s president and Chief Executive Officer. “We can now serve our clients as a one-stop shop, providing the highest quality design, construction, operation, and maintenance of network infrastructure while providing cutting-edge technology and meeting the growing customer demand for turnkey infrastructure solutions.”

Sacramone said: “Joining FTE is the logical next step in the continued growth and success of Benchmark, allowing us to expand our reach nationally and seize new opportunities. We have long-standing relationships with FTE senior executives and look forward to becoming the cornerstone of FTE’s construction management practice. We are excited about the tremendous possibilities ahead.”

FTE will finance the $75 million transaction with cash, FTE common stock, and new financing. The alliance is expected to close in the second quarter of 2017.

The combination will provide significant economies of scale, synergies, complementary business activities, and new growth opportunities in strategic locations across the U.S., FTE says in the news release. Benchmark helps FTE significantly expand its portfolio of sector expertise and enables the company to accelerate its penetration of the fast-growing market for data center construction.

Significantly, the addition of Benchmark’s customer base and project pipeline to FTE’s project management and technical capabilities propel FTE to the forefront of the network infrastructure, technology, and interior construction markets. The acquisition will immediately add Benchmark’s three-year $300 million in project backlog to FTE’s three-year $170 million project backlog, the announcement says.

“This alliance reflects continued commitment to our strategy of growth and diversification,” Palleschi said. “Benchmark’s expertise in the strategically important New York market further deepens our market presence. Benchmark also adds to our infrastructure services and technology capabilities, strengthening core competencies that FTE will be able to leverage across its global operations. We are delighted to welcome Benchmark’s employees to FTE, and look forward to the new opportunities ahead.”

Benchmark, founded in 2008, has a track record of consistent revenue growth and profitability. The company has seasoned leaders with an average of 30 years of construction management experience.

Benchmark specializes in construction management services, and provides program management and other construction-related services. The company serves both publicly listed and private clients in many sectors, including telecommunications, commercial, industrial, broadcast, technology, infrastructure, healthcare, and education, the news release reported.