Goldman Sachs, Antin consortium finalizes acquisition of CityFibre

The board of UK fiber to the premises (FTTP) infrastructure provider CityFibre said that a consortium that includes Goldman Sachs' West Street Infrastructure Partners, and funds managed by Antin Infrastructure Partners consortium-controlled Connect Infrastructure Bidco, has completed its previously agreed upon acquisition of CityFibre's shares.

The board of UK fiber to the premises (FTTP) infrastructure provider CityFibre (AIM: CITY) said that a consortium that includes Goldman Sachs' West Street Infrastructure Partners, and funds managed by Antin Infrastructure Partners consortium-controlled Connect Infrastructure Bidco, has completed its previously agreed upon acquisition of CityFibre's shares.

The acquisition was priced at 81 pence in cash for each CityFibre share, representing a 92.9% premium on the closing price. In April, when CityFibre agreed to accept the acquisition offer from the consortium worth £537.8 million ($750 million), the closing price was 42 pence for each CityFibre share (see "CityFibre agrees to $750 million buyout from Goldman Sachs, Antin consortium").

According to CityFibre, it has constructed new networks under anchor contracts and network acquisitions, enabling it to implement fiber infrastructure projects throughout 51 towns and cities. The company has begun building active service platforms across 31 of these locations to prepare for FTTP roll-out.

CityFibre signed a joint venture agreement in April 2014 with UK service providers Sky and TalkTalk to trial FTTP in the city of York (see "Sky, TalkTalk, CityFibre partner for 1-Gbps FTTH in York"). The company completed several other acquisitions following this agreement, including KCOM's national network assets for £90 million in January 2016 to add fiber networks in 24 towns and cities and a national long-distance network to CityFibre's portfolio (see "CityFibre buys KCOM for UK national network footprint").

CityFibre then acquired wholesale connectivity provider Entanet Holdings Ltd. last year for £29 million after raising additional capital through the issuance of public stock for the purchase (see "CityFibre plans to raise £200 million for FTTH projects, acquisition"). In November of 2017, CityFibre began an ambitious partnership with Vodafone to roll-out full fiber FTTP connectivity to one million UK homes across 12 existing towns and cities (see "Vodafone chooses CityFibre FTTP network for UK broadband delivery"). The agreement with Vodafone will help fund the planned expansion to five million homes throughout nearly 50 towns and cities by 2025, attests CityFibre. When deployed, CityFibre anticipates that this would expand the company's FTTP footprint across 20% of the current UK broadband market.

"We are delighted to be supporting CityFibre through its next cycle of growth and believe the business is ideally placed to continue to transform the UK telecommunications market," said Philippe Camu, West Street Infrastructure Partners global head, and Mark Crosbie, Antin Infrastructure Partners managing partner. "With the need for next generation infrastructure growing at pace, the provision of high quality fiber networks is vital to the ongoing economic development of the UK, and CityFibre sits firmly at the center of that structural shift."

CityFibre says it is now positioned to be a significant provider of full fiber infrastructure, improving towns and cities' digital connectivity and developing the UK's digital economy. Antin Infrastructure Partners and West Street Infrastructure Partners plan to work with CityFibre management on progressing the company's national FTTP development to deliver full fiber infrastructure throughout at least 20% of the UK.

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