Birch Buys Assets From Primus Canada

The deal includes more than 250,000 Primus business and consumer customers.

Edward Gately, Senior News Editor

March 14, 2016

2 Min Read
Birch Buys Assets From Primus Canada

Birch Communications today announced an agreement to purchase select assets and customers of Primus Telecommunications Canada, Canada’s largest independent telecommunications service provider.

The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of 2016 and will mark Birch’s 28th asset purchase. Birch will add more than 250,000 business and consumer customers in Canada, while also adding more than 20,000 customers in the United States and Puerto Rico.{ad}

Birch and Primus both offer broadband Internet, cloud-hosted PBX, dedicated data access, local phone, long-distance and a variety of wholesale services.

Chris Ramsey, Birch’s senior vice president and chief sales officer, tells Channel Partners that his company remains “committed to maintaining our existing partner program structure and believes the asset purchase will offer our partner’s new business opportunities.” He declined comment on why Birch purchased only assets and customers, and not the entire company.

“Likewise, we are committed to maintaining Primus’ channel partner program,” he said. “The largest and most immediate impact for our partners is the expansion of our service footprint. The ability to provide services to customers in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico puts Birch in a very select group of technology providers who can provide across such an extensive amount of underlying carriers and across interstate boundaries. Any partner who works with enterprise size customers should benefit from our enterprise ordering portals, integrated billing across multiple locations and the large service footprint.”

Birch has more than 1,100 direct partners, Ramsey said.

“In this particular purchase, we envision that many of our master agents, in particular, will be able to leverage the expanded service footprint with their existing customer base,” he said. “We welcome existing customers of Birch or Primus to evaluate expansion of both their products and locations for a more complete solution from one provider.”

The purchase underscores Birch CEO Vincent Oddo’s growth strategy that has resulted in Birch’s expansion “from a mere nine-state footprint” into “an industry leading telecom and technology company with revenue growing more than 22-fold since taking over in 2003,” according to Birch.

“We are excited for Primus customers as this transaction offers them a broader array of products with a wider geographic reach, thus bringing an extremely competitive choice to the marketplace,” said Michael Nowlan, Primus’ CEO. “Our customers and partners will seamlessly transition to Birch and continue to enjoy enterprise-class service.”

Last summer, a number of telecom agents told Channel Partners that they were mistreated and lost their commissions when Birch purchased the assets and customer accounts from companies with whom they had agent agreements.

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About the Author(s)

Edward Gately

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

As news editor, Edward Gately covers cybersecurity, new channel programs and program changes, M&A and other IT channel trends. Prior to Informa, he spent 26 years as a newspaper journalist in Texas, Louisiana and Arizona.

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