Hyperoptic raises £250 million to fund FTTP network expansion

UK alternative fiber to the premises (FTTP) network operator Hyperoptic says it has raised £250 million ($280 million) through debt financing from eight international banks. The company will use the cash to deploy FTTP to 50 locations across the UK by 2019 as well as additional markets in the future.

UK alternative fiber to the premises (FTTP) network operator Hyperoptic says it has raised £250 million ($280 million) through debt financing from eight international banks. The company will use the cash to deploy FTTP to 50 locations across the UK by 2019 as well as additional markets in the future.

Hyperoptic says it already delivers gigabit broadband via its FTTP infrastructure to 500,000 homes and businesses (see, for example, "Hyperoptic offering gigabit FTTH in Glasgow"). The company has expanded its network to 10 additional UK locations over the past 12 months and signed contracts in another 14, which will enable it to reach more than 50 markets by Q1 2019. The new financing will fully fund the company’s efforts to reach 2 million homes by 2022 and 5 million by 2025, Hyperoptic attests.

The funding and expansion plans come against the backdrop of a UK Government initiative to promote FTTP installation across the kingdom (see “UK Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review spells out full fiber, 5G strategies”). Commented Minister for Digital Margot James via a Hyperoptic press release, "We recently announced plans for a nationwide full fibre broadband network to build a Britain that's fit for the future. Commercial investment will play a crucial part of this, and Hyperoptic's commitment to deliver gigabit connectivity to more than 50 UK towns and cities shows that they match our ambitions."

BNP Paribas and ING led the new funding round, with Royal Bank of Scotland, Societe General, Royal Bank of Canada, HSH Nordbank, NIBC, and Barclays joining in. Hyperoptic asserts the issue was heavily oversubscribed, with all of the banks from the 2017 debt financing of £100 million significantly increasing their commitment.

Hyperoptic’s cash infusion comes after fellow alternative FTTP provider CityFibre sold itself for £537.8 million ($750 million) to a consortium that includes Goldman Sachs' West Street Infrastructure Partners, and funds managed by Antin Infrastructure Partners earlier this year, also to fund ambitious expansion plans (see “Goldman Sachs, Antin consortium finalizes acquisition of CityFibre”). BT, under siege by such competition and UK regulatory authority Ofcom, also has announced an FTTP deployment program (see “BT pledges increased FTTP, mobile infrastructure investments as part of new strategy”).

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