KKR has secured a majority stake in full fibre provider Hyperoptic, becoming the latest investment firm to take an interest in the UK’s communications infrastructure.
Founded in 2011, Hyperoptic’s fibre to the premise (FTTP) network now covers nearly 400,000 homes and businesses in 43 towns and cities. Its current expansion roadmap will see this footprint quadruple over the next three years.
Financial details have not been disclosed, but it has been confirmed that CEO Dana Tobak and Executive Chairman Boris Ivanovic will continue in their roles.
“We are confident that with the support of KKR and their significant expertise enabling high-growth businesses, our ambitious infrastructure plans to build our hyperfast network out to two million homes by 2021 and five million by 2024 will be realised,” said Tobak.
KKR already has communications joint-ventures with Telxius in Spain and Altice in Frnace, while it owns German fibre company Glasfalser. It was apparently attracted to a UK market in which fibre coverage stands at just eight per cent – far less than other countries in Europe and elsewhere.
“Hyperoptic has a market-leading position and superior consumer product,” said KKR. “The business is strongly positioned to meet the growing demand for full-fibre services in the UK through further investment and national roll-out, supporting housing development and renovation.”
The UK has seen a number of major acquisitions and investments over the past few years. Last year CityFibre was acquired by private equity firms for £538 million, while Hull-based ISP KCOM is being purchased by Australian fund Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (MIRA).
The vast majority of the UK’s superfast broadband is powered by fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) technology, but the government and industry have since adopted fibre first strategies. In addition to altnet rollouts from CityFibre, Hyperoptic and Gigaclear, BT Openreach plans to deploy fibre to 15 million UK premises by the middle of the decade, while Virgin Media and TalkTalk are also embarking on rollouts.
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