New investor to buy Aqua Comms after raising £300m in IPO
Former Zayo executive Jack Waters has succeeded in his plan to raise £300 million for a new fund that will buy Aqua Comms and other infrastructure companies.
His new venture, Digital 9 Infrastructure, said this morning that it has raised gross proceeds of £300 million in its initial public offering (IPO) on the specialist fund segment of the main market of the London Stock Exchange. This is less than the original hope of £400 million.
Waters (pictured), who is chair of Digital 9 Infrastructure and was COO of Zayo until October 2020, said: “As planned, our first acquisition will be into Aqua Comms, a platform owning some 14,300km of modern, operational trans-Atlantic subsea fibre, representing the true backbone of the internet.”
Digital 9’s shares are likely to start trading on the London Stock Exchange next Wednesday. The acquisition of Aqua Comms will close “this week”, said Waters this morning.
Digital 9 said two weeks ago that Aqua Comms will be acquired “in its entirety at a valuation of US$215 million on a cash free, debt free basis”. With third-party debt Aqua Comms will represent 30% of the gross asset value of Digital 9.
The investment company, set up by Triple Point Investment Management, now plans to “invest in a range of digital infrastructure assets which deliver a reliable, functioning internet”.
Digital 9 Infrastructure’s portfolio will include subsea fibre, data centres, terrestrial fibre, tower infrastructure and small cell networks, said the company.
Thor Johnsen, head of digital infrastructure at Triple Point Investment Management, said: “Together with the initial cornerstone investment into Aqua Comms, D9 will be focused on global investment into the critical infrastructure driving this unstoppable force of change.”
Johnsen has been on the board of Aqua Comms since 2015. He joined Triple Point at the beginning of this year.