Allianz Capital Partners, investing funds from Allianz Insurance Companies and the Allianz European Infrastructure Fund, today announced that it has agreed with Österreichische Glasfaser-Infrastrukturgesellschaft (öGIG), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Allianz Group, to provide €1bn of equity to roll-out fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) networks to up to 1 million households in Austria by 2030. In turn, this plan will make öGIG one of the largest fiber network providers in Austria.
Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) in Austria – Allianz and öGIG
Allianz Group’s öGIG operates as a telecommunications infrastructure company and has been deploying fiber in Austria since 2019. Specifically, öGIG finances, builds, and operates fiber optic networks in rural, underserved regions of Austria. öGIG serves homes and businesses with fiber-based broadband services under the öFIBER brand.
öGIG intends to deploy fiber networks nationwide in Austria. Assuming an 8-year deployment plan starting in 2022, öGIG will pass ~125k households in Austria with fiber each year – to meet its target of 1 million household passings.
Allianz’s €1bn of equity capital will enable a total investment program of €2.5bn to roll-out fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) networks in Austria. Therefore, this implies that Allianz is funding the fiber deployment with €1.5bn of debt, equating to a loan-to-cost ratio of 60%. Additionally, Allianz’s total build costs of €2.5bn implies that öGIG’s network build has a cost per passing of €2.5k.
In May 2021, öGIG commenced a roll-out of fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) networks in Austria’s southern region of Kärnten (Carinthia).
Overall, the Kärnten expansion anticipates passing 12.0k+ households with fiber optic networks by the end of 2023.
Open Access Wholesale Fiber Network
öGIG operates and builds an open access wholesale fiber network. Therefore, öGIG’s network is open to all internet service providers (ISPs) and carriers to offer broadband services to end users. Presently, öGIG’s broadband partners include comteam, COSYS, fonira, INFOTECH, KraftCom, RDI, Speeding, spusu, stone-rich, and TeleTronic.
As a result of öGIG’s open and neutral strategy, a large number of ISPs can offer services to consumers without each having to build and operate their own network.
öGIG is led by Hartwig Tauber as Chief Executive Officer, Gerhard Gessl as Chief Financial Officer, and Robert Egreschitz as Chief Operating Officer.
Through öGIG, Allianz jointly holds a ~75% stake in fiber company Niederösterreichische Glasfasergesellschaft (noeGIG), alongside the State of Lower Austria.
Allianz Capital Partners – Overview
Allianz Capital Partners, part of Allianz Global Investors, is an alternative equity investment manager for Allianz Group. Overall, Allianz Capital Partners manages €46bn+ of alternative assets, with an investment focus on private equity, infrastructure, and renewable energy. In terms of strategy, Allianz Capital Partners targets long-term and stable returns for its pension and insurance capital base.
Allianz Capital Partners has become an increasingly active investor in digital infrastructure, particularly in the sub-sectors of fiber and towers.
Beyond öGIG in Austria, Allianz Capital Partners has investments in the roll-out of fiber networks elsewhere in Europe, namely Germany and France. In 2018, Allianz, alongside OMERS Infrastructure and AXA IM acquired a 49.99% stake in Altice France’s fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) business. Additionally, in 2020, Allianz and Telefónica formed a 50%/50% joint venture to deploy fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) in Germany.
In September 2021, Allianz closed its 18% stake purchase in ATC Europe, American Tower’s European division, for total consideration of €975m ($1.2bn).