CityFibre has put in place a debt package of £1.12 billion from seven major financial institutions including ABN AMRO, Deutsche Bank, Lloyds Bank plc, Natixis, NatWest, Santander and Société Générale. Proceeds from this infrastructure debt package will be used to fund the first part of CityFibre’s £2.5 billion investment plan, which will see it roll-out full fibre to five million homes, a third of the Government’s target of 15 million homes by 2025.
This is the largest debt financing package dedicated to full fibre rollouts in the UK’s history and represents an important milestone in CityFibre’s plan to improve the country’s digital future. The clear support of some of Europe’s largest financial institutions is a strong endorsement of CityFibre’s strategy and further validates its business model.
The debt package will be used to fund the deployment of the first two million homes of CityFibre’s five million homes target and will expand CityFibre’s existing full fibre networks in 37 previously announced towns and cities nationwide.
As well as connecting homes, CityFibre’s full fibre network is designed to serve all businesses and public sector sites, provide a superior backbone for mobile operators’ existing locations, enable the rollout of 5G and Internet-of-Things technology and offer transformative, future-proofed connectivity to those joining the Gigabit City Club.
CityFibre’s access to the debt market is an important step in creating a large-scale open-access platform that provides genuine choice and supports innovation, as well as catering for emerging demand for smart city enablement and dense 5G small-cell deployments.
CityFibre is building a network that offers dramatically faster speeds to internet-service providers and mobile operators, while also significantly improving service levels and reliability.
The debt package includes a £775 million seven-year capex facility and £45 million revolving overdraft and working-capital facility. It also includes a £300 million accordion facility. Rothschild & Co acted as financial adviser to CityFibre and Latham & Watkins as legal adviser.
Terry Hart, CityFibre’s Chief Finance Officer, said, “The appetite from these institutions to support our financing is further evidence that CityFibre’s strategy is the right one for the UK.
“As our networks are rolled out, this will benefit everyone, driving innovation and increasing fibre penetration across the UK, providing the future-proof digital connectivity the UK needs.
“CityFibre’s target to reach five million homes by 2025, as well as thousands of businesses and public sector sites, will catalyse huge economic growth in regional towns and cities across the country.”