The UK Corporate Finance team is pleased to announce that it has advised Airband on an equity capital raise from Aberdeen Standard Investments (ASI) to support the roll-out of Fibre To The Premise (‘FTTP’) broadband to more than an additional 500,000 rural homes in the West of England by 2025.
Airband is a provider of rural connectivity services across the West of England, historically delivered through Fixed Wireless Access (‘FWA’). Since 2018 the business has moved towards providing FTTP, driven by UK Government-led initiatives to promote significant investment in fibre infrastructure in rural areas. The business has a network footprint covering thousands of homes across parts of Wales, Worcestershire, Herefordshire, Oxfordshire, Devon and Somerset.
The news comes following a commitment from the UK government in last week’s spending review to continue providing funding to help subsidise the roll-out of gigabit-capable broadband, which is delivered through FTTP infrastructure, to rural areas.
Airband and its management team will benefit from having an aligned shareholder group bringing together an experienced partner with deep infrastructure knowledge in ASI, and continued input from their existing investor, Amber Infrastructure.
Airband and its shareholders are committed to driving sustainable growth of the business through supplying customers with fast, reliable and cost-effective broadband in rural communities. The capital that ASI will provide will allow Airband to increase its coverage to new premises and provide broadband infrastructure to local communities through a combination of subsidised and unsubsidised network build.
“We’re excited to welcome ASI to Airband and are genuinely looking forward to working with them and Amber to continue rolling out full fibre broadband to our rural communities. This is a great result and thanks in no small part to the support provided by PwC - their expertise in Digital Infrastructure and their deal execution capabilities have been invaluable throughout the process. Each PwC team member was professional, enthusiastic and maintained a sense of humour throughout!
“We are delighted to have acted for Airband on this significant transaction in the fibre sector. Airband has set itself apart from the competition with its highly defensive business model and expertise in delivering subsidised rural builds. The strong investor appetite we saw through the process demonstrates the significant market opportunity for Fibre To The Premise as the UK and many other countries seek to increase connectivity as data usage continues to grow. We believe that in ASI, Airband, along with existing investor Amber, has chosen the perfect partner to help them drive the business going forward.”
PwC acted as lead financial advisor to Airband. The PwC Corporate Finance team was composed of James Pincus, Asim Iqbal, Lee Lindley, Venetia Andrew, Zain Karbani, Sian O’Mahony, Arjun Patel and Phoebe Groves.
Strategy& provided vendor CDD on behalf of Airband.
If you would like any further information on the transaction, please contact James Pincus, Asim Iqbal or Lee Lindley.
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