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Ireland's SIRO boosts FTTH with €125 million from Macquarie

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Macquarie Asset Management has finalised a €125 million loan for broadband provider SIRO, to help finance the expansion of its ultrafast broadband network in Ireland.

 

SIRO – which provides FTTH connectivity to approximately 410,000 homes and businesses utilising the electricity network infrastructure provided by ESB Networks – plans to expand its wholesale-only fibre network. The extension will take it to approximately 770,000 premises across more than 150 regional towns and cities by 2026.

The ambitious target will support Ireland to meet its connectivity objectives by enabling up to 2.1 million users to access speeds of up to 2Gbps.

“Our fibre broadband network is currently available to  410,000 homes and businesses across Ireland," said John Keaney, CEO of SIRO.

"As part of this next phase, we will increase our network reach by over 70%.  This will enable many more Irish homes and businesses to access high-quality, high-speed broadband to support how they now live and work.”

The term loan provided by Macquarie Asset Management’s institutional clients will help SIRO to refinance existing debt and fund the remainder of its expansion programme. Macquarie Asset Management represented the largest institutional component of the €620 million debt financing package arranged by NatWest, which will provide SIRO with the certainty and flexibility it needs as it delivers on its rollout plan.

Tom van Rijsewijk, MD at Macquarie Asset Management, said; “The pandemic has brought into sharp focus the urgent need that exists to transform our telecommunications infrastructure to facilitate the increasing digitisation of our economy and society. We are proud to be supporting SIRO as it invests to develop and expand its fibre-to-the-home network, enabling hundreds of thousands more homes and businesses across Ireland to access the benefits of ultrafast broadband.”

Macquarie's wider strategy has seen it partner with business across Europe to finance the development and upgrade of digital infrastructure, including a £73 million investment last year to support Vantage Data Centers’ acquisition of Next Generation Data, Europe’s largest data centre campus.