CityFibre Secures Financing for UK Fiber Builds

  • FTTH
LONDON - CityFibre Holdings Limited, a competitive operator deploying a fiber-to-the-home network in the city of Bournemouth in the U.K., announced that it closed a financing agreement with Citigroup, secured by CityFibre’s long-term contracted customer revenues. Arrangements were also agreed for Citi to assist CityFibre in its future financing requirements.

A year ago, CityFibre took over the British assets of i3 Group (formerly H2O Networks), which had ambitious plans for deploying fiber to the home based on an innovative but ultimately problematic fiber-through-the sewer technology. The Citigroup financing appears to signal that the company has stabilized and can go forward with its planned buildouts of metro fiber rings and FTTH networks. It is one of several entrepreneurial companies in the U.K. that are attempting to provide more advanced telecommunications infrastructure than the incumbent BT is building.

CityFibre says the proceeds of the new financing arrangement will accelerate its activities in the deployment of metro fiber networks throughout the U.K.’s second-tier cities. Like second-tier cities in many countries, these cities suffer from a lack of critical fiber infrastructure, which they see as indispensable to their future economic development. CityFibre indicates that it has received a high level of interest in its solutions for cities, and says the added financial flexibility will enable it to respond to this demand more rapidly.

Michael Lavelle, head of EMEA Capital Markets at Citi, says, “We are pleased to offer CityFibre this facility, as we believe that CityFibre is well-placed to develop its alternative fiber infrastructure offering to serve U.K. homes and businesses. We look forward to working with CityFibre in its future development.”

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