On December 14, 2015, UK AIM-listed fibre optic network infrastructure developer CityFibre announced a GBP 90 million acquisition of the communications service provider KCOM’s national fibre and duct network assets in the Hull and East Yorkshire area. The physical infrastructure assets comprise 1,100 km of duct and fibre network in 24 UK cities, as well as 1,100 km of national long distance network that connects these cities to major data-centres across the UK and to internet peering points in London.
The transaction was completed mid-January 2016, making CityFibre UK’s largest wholesale infrastructure provider after BT and the first challenger to the national incumbent. On completion, CityFibre’s expanded footprint – spanning 36 cities and interconnected by the national long distance network – will address more than 7,000 mobile cell sites, 24,500 public sector sites and 245,000 businesses.To facilitate the acquisition and continue to commercialise its national network, CityFibre has secured new financing comprised of GBP 80 million of new equity from existing shareholders and new investors, as well as GBP 100 million in debt facilities from P Capital Partners.
Commenting on the announcement, CityFibre CEO Greg Mesch said: “This is the most significant event to take place in the UK’s digital infrastructure market in a decade. The UK now has a secure independent infrastructure alternative. Cities, service providers, mobile operators and investors have boldly embraced a new model of future-proof infrastructure provision and paved the way for its acceleration across the country. With our enlarged footprint and strong pipeline of cities demanding better infrastructure, we will continue to grow, offering existing and new partners an ever increasing opportunity to capitalise on a pure fibre future.”