The group has sold the assets to, designer, builder, owner, and operator of fibre optic infrastructure, CityFibre for a total consideration of £90m together with an underwritten placing to raise £80m at 50 pence per share.
The national infrastructure being acquired by CityFibre comprises approximately 1,100 route kms of metro network assets in 24 towns and cities, and a national long distance network totalling approximately 1,100 route kms that connects 22 towns and cities and offers connectivity into key data centres and wholesale internet peering points in London.
Greg Mesch, chief executive officer of CityFibre, said: “We are pleased to announce this transformational acquisition, which we believe will accelerate our growth target by five to seven years, creating a credible alternative to BT Openreach across the UK.
“Furthermore, we are delighted to have received the support of our existing shareholders to fund this transaction, and we welcome new shareholders to the register.
“The acquisition of these assets represents a unique opportunity for CityFibre to increase its reach into 21 new markets, and enables this asset to be integrated into CityFibre’s wholesale shared infrastructure model, opening up the use of the network to many users.
“Following the acquisition, CityFibre will have a national footprint covering 36 cities with abundant fibre capacity for use by national and regional service providers and mobile operators.
“The demand for greater connectivity and future-proof networks in the UK has never been greater, and there is increasing recognition of this need from all stakeholders in the market. The acquisition of these assets will enable CityFibre to significantly accelerate its Gigabit City roll out and play a very meaningful role in redressing the legacy of underinvestment currently plaguing the UK connectivity landscape.”