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Greenlight Networks to get new majority owner

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Greenlight Networks
Greenlight Networks headquarters in Henrietta.

Greenlight Networks is getting a new owner. That internet company has been majority-owned by Grand Oaks LLC, a venture capital firm owned by Paychex founder and philanthropist Tom Golisano.

But Greenlight announced Monday that it is getting a new owner, after a majority investment by a New York City-based private equity firm, Oak Hill Capital.

Greenlight CEO Mark Murphy told WXXI News that joining forces with Oak Hill Capital will help accelerate Greenlight’s growth plans.

“It gives us access to capital to continue our buildouts here in Rochester as well as across New York state for the next several years,” said Murphy. “It takes a lot of capital to deploy fiber-to-the-home services, and this gets us a pretty good amount of the way there with our plan for the next several years.”

Murphy says that Greenlight is approaching 100,000 homes being connected with their broadband services, and they would like to see that grow to 700,000 or 800,000 customers over the next few years.

Golisano’s firm, Grand Oaks, acquired a majority stake in Greenlight in 2018, and Murphy credits that investment with helping fund the broadband company’s expansion into new regions and adding staff.

“I’d like to thank my partners and board members, Tom Golisano and Tom Bonadio of Impact Capital,” said Murphy. “Since 2018, they have funded our growth and expansion into three new regions, enabled us to grow our staff from 18 to 160 employees, created hundreds of jobs for local contractors, connected tens of thousands of households to the fastest Internet available, and brought much needed broadband competition to consumers in Upstate New York.”

Greenlight Networks currently has 160 employees and expects to add 70 jobs by the end of this year.

Financial terms of the new investment were not disclosed. The deal is expected to close this spring, subject to approval by the New York State Public Service Commission.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.