Macquarie completes $2.5bn agreement for Open Fiber stake
Macquarie Asset Management has finalised an agreement with Enel to acquire a 40% equity stake in Open Fiber for €2.12 billion ($2.5 billion).
Under the terms of the deal, Macquarie Asset Management will hold a 40% stake while CDP Equity will own the remaining 60% equity interest in Open Fiber.
As the operator of Italy’s largest fibre-to-the-home network, Open Fiber has surpassed more than 12 million households in 180+ urban centres and 2,300+ rural municipalities across the country, with ambitions to deploy more than 19 million households with its wholesale-only network.
The news follows the announcement in December 2020 that Entel was planning to sell its business to CDP and Macquarie. It forms part of the wider plan to create a single fibre broadband network for Italy, with the eventual merger of Open Fiber and FiberCop.
“Enhancing access to reliable, ultrafast broadband is key if households and businesses across Italy are to harness the significant opportunities presented by a more connected society and economy," said Jiri Zrust, senior managing director at Macquarie Asset Management.
"We look forward to supporting the delivery of Italy’s next-generation digital infrastructure through our investment in Open Fiber, partnering with its talented workforce and CDP Equity to deliver first class, open-access network infrastructure across Italy.”
In Europe, Macquarie Asset Management managed funds are increasing ultrafast broadband connectivity across the UK, Denmark, and Poland through investments in KCOM, TDC Group, and INEA.
To date, Macquarie-managed funds in Italy have made investments in Hydro Dolomiti Energia, Società Gasdotti Italia, Renvico, and Aeroporti di Roma. Most recently, Macquarie-managed funds agreed to acquire 88% of Autostrade per l’Italia in a consortium with CDP Equity and Blackstone Infrastructure Partners.
The transaction is expected in Q4 2021, subject to customary closing conditions and approvals from the Presidency of Italy’s Council of Ministers and the European Commission Competition Authority.