Broadband infrastructure company receives private equity boost to accelerate plans
Gigaclear has secured £111 million in additional equity funding to build new fibre networks in rural Britain.
Existing shareholders Infracapital and Woodford have committed to investing £60 million and £15 million respectively, with other unnamed shareholders contributing a further £1 million.
RPMI Railpen, the investment manager for the Railways Pension Scheme, is the new additional investor, contributing £35 million to work in the company.
According to Gigaclear, the new investment will enable a significant acceleration in the build-rate of the ultrafast Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) networks across multiple counties, reaching hundreds of thousands of people.
In recent months, the company has won “significant tenders” to deliver its broadband network to hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses across Devon, Somerset, Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Northamptonshire through the government-backed Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme.
This was set up in 2013 and is part of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), with the government providing superfast broadband to 90 per cent of the UK by early 2016 and 95 per cent by December this year, as well as exploring options to provide superfast coverage to the hardest to reach parts of the region.
The company added that this new investment will fund the first stage of these new networks, along with other commercial network build projects.
Gigaclear chief executive Matthew Hare said: “Full fibre is the future. This latest round of investment will enable Gigaclear to step up our speed of network delivery and is a clear signal of the confidence investors have in our continued expansion and success.”
“Millions of rural homes and businesses across the country need better broadband and we want to reach as many of those in rural areas as quickly as possible.
“Our pure fibre network transforms lives by providing access to the fastest internet speeds to be found anywhere in the world and technologically future-proofing these rural communities for years to come.”