Macquarie to invest in UK fibre in £12bn infrastructure push

Optical fiber
(Image credit: Pixabay)

Australian investment firm Macquarie Group says it will increase its investment for full fibre and fixed wireless access (FWA) broadband in the UK as part of a £12 billion programme targeting sustainable infrastructure.

The company says it will invest directly, through co-investments, or support other projects through the CapEx programmes of its portfolio companies.

Macquarie, through its Hull-based KCOM business, will look to expand its fibe footprint across the north of England, while its Voneus business will deliver ultrafast broadband to rural communities across the UK using a mixture of technologies.  

Macquarie broadband investment

The other planned activities cover a range of industries, including renewable energy, electric vehicle infrastructure, emissions reduction technologies, housing and transport.

“The UK was our first destination when we expanded internationally in 1989 and has remained a strong focus for our investment activity ever since,” said Shemara Wikramanayake, Macqaurie Group managing director and chief executive.

“The UK has been a world leader in the positive utilisation of private capital to meet essential infrastructure needs of communities, including as a global leader in investment in the energy transition. We look forward to building on our track record of investment of capital and expertise to deliver the next generation of UK infrastructure.”

Macquarie, through its Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (MIRA) fund, won a £627 million bidding war for KCOM in 2019. MIRA commands tens of billions worth of assets and is a major investor in telco infrastructure. It has invested in Arqiva in the UK and owns TDC – the largest telco in Demark – and has been previously linked with acquiring a stake in Openreach in the past.

Steve McCaskill is TechRadar Pro's resident mobile industry expert, covering all aspects of the UK and global news, from operators to service providers and everything in between. He is a former editor of Silicon UK and journalist with over a decade's experience in the technology industry, writing about technology, in particular, telecoms, mobile and sports tech, sports, video games and media.