Gigaclear, the UK’s leading rural full fibre broadband alternative network provider, has secured equity investment from Equitix to support its long-term plan to provide service to more than a million premises by 2027.
Gigaclear builds and operates the UK’s largest rural fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) network delivering ultrafast and reliable full fibre broadband to rural communities across the UK.
The funding of up to £420 million will help Gigaclear extend its network, which already serves more than 450,000 homes across 23 counties. Gigaclear is principally owned by Infracapital, the infrastructure equity investment arm of M&G Plc.
Gareth Williams, CEO at Gigaclear, said: “We are delighted Equitix has chosen to invest with us as we continue to expand our network to underserved rural towns and villages that would otherwise be left behind. Equitix recognises, as we do, that focusing on connecting poorly-served rural communities clearly differentiates us from other providers of fibre to the home.
“There are more than one million additional homes and businesses in the UK for us to build to that fall within our company’s mission. Gigaclear will push forward, ensuring many more communities in rural England are able to benefit from the ultrafast full fibre broadband speeds enjoyed by their urban counterparts. Alongside our commercial expansion, we will continue to explore opportunities to work with the Government on its Building Digital (BDUK) programme, evaluating each opportunity on a case-by-case basis.”
Hugh Crossley, Chief Executive Officer at Equitix commented: “We are proud to partner with Infracapital and the Gigaclear team in delivering reliable, affordable, full fibre broadband to rural areas of the UK. In line with our strategic aims to support the UK’s infrastructure and essential services whilst positively impacting local communities, our investment here is a positive step towards generating connectivity for all. Fibre is essential infrastructure and we like the barriers to entry and predictable low risk revenues generated by Gigaclear, the largest rural altnet in the UK.”
Andy Matthews, Head of Greenfield at Infracapital said: “We believe that fast and reliable digital infrastructure, particularly in rural communities, is vital for economic growth. It is a key enabler for people living in often hard to reach areas to get access to all the opportunities and social benefits available, as well as creating jobs. We are delighted with the success that Gigaclear has achieved to date, since our initial investment in 2015, and we look forward to continuing to work with them as they expand across the UK.”
Infracapital invested in Gigaclear through its greenfield strategy which is to build, deliver and operate essential greenfield infrastructure to meet the changing needs of society and support long-term economic growth across Europe.
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Gigaclear has been designing, building and operating new gigabit, full fibre networks since 2011 during which time it has firmly established itself as the largest rural, full fibre alternative network (altnet) in the UK. The Abingdon-based Communications Provider now employs more than 700 people across eight office locations, serving more than 75,000 customers throughout 23 counties. Gigaclear is on track to meet its business plan objectives to connect 500,000 properties to ultrafast full fibre in 2024. The Gigaclear difference lies in its vision to connect underserved rural towns and villages, where Gigaclear as the first to invest, delivers a future-proofed, quality network that can serve 100 per cent of connected properties with ultrafast speeds. With solid financial backing from leading European infrastructure investors, Gigaclear is committed to upgrading the communications infrastructure in rural England.
Equitix is a responsible investor, developer and manager in infrastructure, established in the UK in 2007 with over £10bn of AUM for our assets located in 21 countries internationally. Our 200-strong, expert team are based in 15 locations, providing on-the-ground, active management and support to our assets, partners, investors and network. Equitix works across a diverse range of sub-sectors, servicing c. 10 million customers across its data networks alone. Its strategic ambition aims to materially contribute to the lives of the communities its assets serve, creating a lasting legacy for generations.
Equitix: Bringing infrastructure to life. www.equitix.com
Infracapital invests in, builds and manages a diverse range of essential infrastructure to meet the changing needs of society and support long-term economic growth. We take an active role in all of our investments, whether nascent or large, to fulfil their potential and ensure they are adaptable and resilient. Our approach creates value for our investors, as we target investments with the scope for stable and sustainable growth. Our portfolio companies work closely with the communities where they are based, to the benefit of all stakeholders. Infracapital is well positioned to deliver the significant investment required to help build the future. The founder-led team of experienced specialists has worked with more than 60 companies around Europe and has raised and managed over €7.8 billion of client capital across six funds. Infracapital is part of M&G Plc, an international savings and investments business, managing money for around 5 million retail customers and more than 800 institutional clients in 28 markets. Total assets under management are £342 billion (as at 31 December 2022).