Telefónica, Vauban and CAA launch €2.5bn FTTH company, Bluevia

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Telefónica Group, Crédit Agricole Assurances (CAA) and Vauban Infrastructure Partners (Vauban), are to establish Bluevia Fibra S.L. (Bluevia), a new fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) company in Spain.

“We are very excited about this project that will allow Telefonica España to remain the undisputed leader in fibre and will be a key lever to accelerate the deployment in rural areas as we continue to move forward in our commitment to shut down the retail copper network and to promote better connectivity in a more efficient and sustainable way,” said Emilio Gayo, chairman of Telefónica Spain.

The consortium comprised of CAA/Vauban will acquire a 45% stake in Bluevia from Telefónica España for €1.021 billion in cash, valuing 100% of Bluevia at €2.5 billion. While Telefónica Group will retain a 55% stake in Bluevia, to be held byTelefónica España and Telefónica Infra, with 30% and 25% stakes respectively.

“We are very enthusiastic about the opportunity to partner with Crédit Agricole Assurances/Vauban and form a longstanding partnership together with Telefónica Spain, strengthening Telefónica Infra’s investment portfolio," added Guillermo Ansaldo, CEO, Telefónica Infra.

"With this new venture, Telefónica Infra now has FTTH vehicles in Spain, Germany and Brazil together with Telefónica’s operating units in each of those countries and in partnership with top tier institutions such as Crédit Agricole Assurances/Vauban, Allianz and CDPQ respectively.”

Once operational, Bluevia will manage and deploy a fibre network in low populated rural areas in Spain and low overbuild with third operator’s networks. It will offer wholesale FTTH access to all telecoms services providers.

"We are proud to announce this new operation, which is fully in line with the long-term investment and diversification strategy of Crédit Agricole Assurances, a strategy which is illustrated through the financing of large-scale projects in favour of the revitalisation territories alongside major industrial players in the infrastructure sector,” said Philippe Dumont, CEO of Credit Agricole Assurances.

To date, Bluevia has passed 3.5 million premises all acquired from Telefónica España, the company plans increase its network to 5 million premises by 2024. The 3.5 million premises to be sold to Bluevia represent 13% of Telefónica’s FTTH network in Spain, Telefónica España retains full ownership of the rest of the network.

“This operation leverages on our strong experience in Fiber, including with Credit Agricole Assurances through our Vauban Infra Fibre platform, and on our deep presence in the Spanish market," added Gwenola Chambon, CEO and founding partner of Vauban Infrastructure Partners.

The transaction is due to close by the end of 2022, subject to closing conditions and regulatory approvals.