Tower operator Crown Castle to buy Lightower for $7.1 bln

July 18 (Reuters) - U.S. telecommunications tower operator Crown Castle International Corp said it would buy Lightower Fiber Networks for about $7.1 billion in cash, doubling its fiber footprint and boosting its presence in the northeast.

Crown Castle is buying the company from a group of investors including Berkshire Partners LLC and Pamlico Capital.

Lightower's network spans 32,000 fiber route miles, serving the financial services industry as well as government clients, primarily in top metro markets, including Boston, New York and Philadelphia.

Reuters reported last week that Crown Castle had made an offer for Lightower. (Reporting by Rishika Sadam in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva)