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Gores' Firm to Buy Part of Global

March 22, 2005|James S. Granelli | Times Staff Writer

A private equity firm owned by Beverly Hills financier Tom T. Gores said Monday that it had agreed to buy part of fiber-optic network owner Global Crossing Ltd. for $40.5 million.

Platinum Equity will acquire Global Crossing's small-business unit, which serves about 30,000 small and medium-size companies, and meld it into its own telecommunications operations.

Platinum's Matrix Telecom Inc., which provides voice and data services to businesses, will use Global Crossing's network, which reaches 300 cities in 30 countries.

Built by multimillionaire Gary Winnick of Beverly Hills, Global Crossing said last week that it would sell several units that no longer fit into its core business plan, which is serving large multinational companies.

Gores, who pulled out of the bidding for Global Crossing in 2002 and bought the company's former headquarters from Winnick, kept in touch with Global executives after the Bermuda-based firm emerged from the nation's second-largest telecom bankruptcy in December 2003.

Platinum is one of the nation's largest private companies, generating about $8 billion in annual revenue from a portfolio of 21 operating companies.

About $2.5 billion of that comes from Matrix and six other telecom companies, the largest of which is Houston-based NextiraOne, a global network services company.

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