The majority owners of Ireland’s National Broadband Plan are selling their stakes to a Spanish investor.
London-based Oak Hill Advisors and US investor Twin Point Capital, who together own nearly 80% of National Broadband Ireland (NBI), have agreed to sell to Madrid-based Asterion Industrial Partners. The Spanish investment company, which recently closed a €1.8 billion financing round, specializes in European infrastructure, investing in technology and telecoms in the UK (MS3), Spain (Olivenet) and Italy (Irideos).
NBI declined to disclose the value of the deal.
However, a spokesman said neither Granahan McCourt nor its CEO and chairman David McCourt is selling any equity as part of the sale. There will be no changes to the management team, which is led by CEO Peter Hendrick and rollout director TJ Malone. The deal has no immediate impact on fiber broadband rollout.
NBI’s plans to seek new long-term investors were first revealed by the Irish Independent in 2021.
Although the deal has been agreed, it now has to be approved by the government and is expected to be finalized this autumn. Under the terms of the National Broadband Plan contract, inbound investors are bound by the same rules and obligations as outbound investors.
The NBI is building IT and database systems for the National Broadband Plan, which it hopes can be replicated or licensed in other European countries that may be pursuing similar fiber rollouts in the future.
The stock sale comes after the National Broadband Plan recently reported that 22 percent of homes “passed” by the National Broadband Plan are connected to the network.
63,652 of the 559,000 sites targeted for coverage under the seven-year rollout have been passed so far, with a target of 102,000 for the end of January 2023. This is well behind the original rollout deadlines. However, NBI CEO Peter Hendrick recently told an Oireachtas committee that the $2.7 billion government-backed broadband rollout would add rural developers.
“We welcome Asterion, a partner with decades of experience in telecoms infrastructure, who will not only help us deliver this highly ambitious project, but will also bring a long-term commitment to Ireland,” said Granahan McCourt, CEO and Chairman.
“We are delighted to partner with Asterion, not only on NBI but also with further investments aimed at developing a center of excellence in Ireland and realizing our long-term vision of promoting Ireland’s services to the world. of telecommunications”.
Winnie Wutte, a founding partner of Asterion, said: “We are delighted to partner with Granahan McCourt and continue to invest in rural fiber infrastructure development with NBI, one of the most ambitious fiber deployments in the world, enabling access to rural connectivity and preparing Ireland for the long-term future.
A partner at Oak Hill Advisors, Musa Sonmez, said he had invested “hundreds of millions” in the Irish rollout.
“It has been a privilege to be part of NBI’s story from the beginning and to help build the business that has made it the best open access wholesale provider in the world,” said Musa Sönmez. “We have full confidence that it will continue from strength to strength. We are proud of our partnership with Granahan McCourt to invest in Ireland since 2014, years in which we have invested hundreds of millions of euros to build global operations that will have an enduring legacy. We look forward to continuing this journey alongside Granahan McCourt with future collaborations.”
https://www.independent.ie/business/technology/majority-share-in-national-broadband-plan-sold-to-spanish-investment-firm-41833320.html Sale of the majority stake in the National Broadband Plan to a Spanish investment firm