Pantheon Infrastructure (PINT) has committed to invest approximately €52.7m (£46.0m at current exchange rates) in Asterion Industrial Partners’ interest in National Broadband Ireland (NBI), an Irish fibre to the premises (FTTP) network developer and operator. NBI is working on a project that is expected to help bridge the digital divide between rural and urban areas in Ireland.
About National Broadband Ireland
National Broadband Ireland was selected by the Irish Department for Environment, Climate and Communications to support the country’s National Broadband Plan. Ireland’s National Broadband Plan is a programme that seeks to connect every business, public and residential premises in the country to high-speed broadband by 2027. NBI is responsible for passing and connecting approximately 560,000 premises in rural areas stretching across 96% of the land mass of Ireland. Its network is set to serve around 23% of the population and 69% of the country’s farms, making this the largest infrastructural project in rural Ireland since rural electrification. Deployment is split into 227 Development Areas with the rollout occurring in all counties simultaneously. The Irish government is providing subsidies alongside the capital committed by shareholders and revenue generated to support the design, procurement, construction and maintenance of the network under a 25-year project agreement.
PINT is investing through Asterion Industrial Partners, which it describes as a leading European infrastructure investment manager specialising in the telecoms, energy & utilities, and mobility sectors. Granahan McCourt, a private investment firm focused on the technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) industries, is retaining its current interest in NBI. Its mission statement says that it is “committed to bringing world-leading broadband infrastructure to underserved areas in order to dramatically expand opportunity and rethink the modern world”.
Comments from Richard Sem, Partner at Pantheon, PINT’s investment manager
“We are delighted to announce this latest transaction in a high-quality fibre asset alongside our long-standing partner Asterion. NBI’s commitment to providing high-speed broadband to underserved areas in Ireland makes it a compelling investment proposition which has a positive impact on local communities.”