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Digital 9 commits £903m spend on fibre and data centres by end of 2027

Phil Jordan D9.jpg

Digital 9 Infrastructure, the company that owns Aqua Comms, Verne Global and a new Europe-to-India cable, is boosting its investment in the industry.

The company announced this morning that it will spend £264 million over this year and a further £639 million over the following four years – a total of £903 million by the end of 2027.

This is in addition to the £46 million the company committed to three existing projects.

Digital 9 (D9) chair Phil Jordan (pictured) said: “The business performance and our latest forecasts demonstrate the strength of our portfolio’s revenues and profitability. The majority of D9’s portfolio comprises capital intensive businesses, underpinned by an exponential demand for data, and the growth opportunities for each can be supported by a visible pipeline of investment which is already part-funded by the group.”

The company expects to spend £158 million this year on its data centre businesses, including Ficolo and Volta Data Centres, which have now been integrated as Verne Global. Over the following four years D9 expects to spend £355 million.

D9 plans £20 million investment in Aqua Comms this year and £27 million on EMIC-1, the projected Europe Middle East India Connect 1. Over the following four years, to the end of 2027, spend will be £40 million and £13 million respectively.

There are also increases in spend on Arqiva, the wireless infrastructure company of which D9 owns 48%, as well as wireless company Host Ireland and Giggle Broadband, a terrestrial fibre start-up building fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) in Glasgow.

Jordan said: “Through our active asset management approach, we expect these investments to deliver both income and capital growth which will underpin our 10% total return target and 6p [£0.06] per share dividend per annum target.”

But the company said it is “reviewing appropriate potential funding options to support the capital requirements of the strong and well positioned businesses within the portfolio”.

Meanwhile Verne Global has just announced a new CFO, from Liquid Intelligent Technologies, a new COO and a new general counsel.