New subsea cable will double capacity between UK and Ireland

The first European subsea cable to be laid in 11 years is on track for completion by the end of the year, thanks to a new funding round of $15 million.

The first European subsea cable to be laid in 11 years is on track for completion by the end of the year, thanks to a new funding round of $15 million.

Sea Fibre Networks Ltd has secured a senior debt facility of $7.5 million from Investec Project and Infrastructure Finance, part of Investec Bank Plc. Additional equity was provided by a group of mainly US investors, including CC Equity LLC.

Running between Anglesey and Dublin, the subsea cable will more than double the existing capacity between Ireland and the UK, and be over 100 km shorter than existing subsea cables, increasing data speed and reducing latency.

Torsten Thiele, head of telecoms project finance at Investec, said, “We are delighted to have been able to provide this debt facility to Sea Fibre Networks in this pure project finance telecoms deal. In arranging financing, we brought our experience from other subsea telecoms deals that we have worked on, including in Africa.”

Investec provided 50% of the debt that financed the construction of the SEACOM cable system.

Diane Hodnett, CEO of Sea Fibre Networks, commented, “Having Investec as a partner in this funding round of $15 million raised has been instrumental in our ability to commission the first European subsea cable laid in 11 years. In its role as MLA [mandated lead arranger], Investec was able to smooth what could have been a challenging process, meaning that we are on track to complete the subsea lay in December 2011.”

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