Antin Infrastructure Partners, an infrastructure private equity firm, recently filed its registration documents for the initial public offering (IPO) of Antin Group on France’s Euronext Paris stock exchange, which could value the business at up to €4.1bn ($4.8bn). The firm’s four sub-sectors of infrastructure investment focus, for its funds are i) energy & environment, ii) telecom (i.e., digital), iii) transport, and iv) social.
With the detailed disclosures provided as part of its initial public offering (IPO) filing, we review select digital infrastructure-related information regarding Antin Infrastructure Partners. Particularly, we highlight Antin Infrastructure Partners’ digital infrastructure portfolio companies – both past and present – including Axión, FPS Towers, Eurofiber, CityFibre, FirstLight Fiber, Lyntia, and Pulsant.
Background – Antin Infrastructure Partners
Antin Infrastructure Partners invests primarily in Europe and North America, through its main offices in Paris, London, and New York. Also, Antin is in the process of establishing an office in Singapore to expand its infrastructure investment reach into Asia-Pacific.
Since inception, Antin Infrastructure Partners has raised a total of €17bn of equity, through six fundraises across two investment strategies. In turn, as of June 30, 2021, the firm’s assets under management (AUM) reached €19.9bn.
Additionally, Antin states that its objective is to achieve a first closing of its new flagship Antin Infrastructure Partners V fund around Q2 or Q3 2022. Subsequently, the firm will target a final closing in 2023 for this fifth fund, with an aim to reach a fund size between €10bn and €11bn.
Antin Infrastructure Partners has produced investment performance, on a realized basis, across 12 investment exits, of a gross IRR of 24% and gross multiple of 2.7x. Furthermore, realized investment performance in the telecom (i.e., digital infrastructure) sub-sector has been a gross IRR of 30% and gross multiple of 3.3x.
Historically, Antin Infrastructure Partners has competed for investment opportunities with firms including EQT, I Squared Capital, KKR, and Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners.
Below, Antin measures European-headquartered independent infrastructure investors by capital raised, which excludes certain of its previously mentioned U.S. competitors. Specifically, these European-headquartered peers include EQT, Ardian, DIF Capital Partners, Infracapital (M&G), F2i Sgr, Meridiam, iCON Infrastructure, Basalt Infrastructure Partners, InfraVia Capital Partners, and Arcus Infrastructure Partners.
Funds Raised by Infrastructure Managers Headquartered in Europe – in € billions – as of June 30, 2021
Digital Infrastructure Investments – Antin Infrastructure Partners
Below we outline the digital infrastructure assets and businesses that Antin has acquired through its four flagship infrastructure funds and one mid cap infrastructure fund.
Notably, equity investments per portfolio company in Antin Infrastructure Partners’ large cap flagship fund series range from €400m to €700m. Whereas equity investments per portfolio company in the firm’s mid cap fund series range from €50m to €300m.
Antin’s €1.1bn first fund began its investment period in 2008 and ceased investing in 2013. As of June 30, 2021, this fund had returned a realized gross multiple of 2.5x.
Below we outline investments that Antin Infrastructure Partners I made, including Axión and FPS Towers.
Axión was the second largest tower company in Spain, and the largest in Andalusia, operating 586 sites in the country. Specifically, the company’s business lines included digital terrestrial television (DTT) broadcasting, radio broadcasting, and telecom antennas hosting.
Antin Infrastructure Partners I first invested in Axión in October 2011. Ultimately, the business was sold to AMP Capital in November 2016 for €169m, representing an EBITDA multiple of ~10x. Overall, Antin Infrastructure Partners I generated a gross multiple of 1.6x on its Axión investment.
FPS Towers was an independent telecom tower company in France, created to acquire a portfolio of 2.0k mobile telecom towers from Bouygues Telecom. Subsequently, the company scaled to operate a portfolio of 2.5k owned towers and access to 20.0k rooftop sites across France.
Antin Infrastructure Partners I first invested in FPS Towers in November 2012. Ultimately, the business was sold to American Tower and PGGM (together ATC Europe) for €697m ($726m) in February 2017. Overall, Antin Infrastructure Partners I generated a gross multiple of 3.6x on its FPS Towers investment.
Antin’s €2.0bn second fund began its investment period in 2013 and ceased investing in 2016. As of June 30, 2021, this fund had returned a current gross multiple of 2.4x.
Antin Infrastructure Partners II made its sole digital infrastructure investment in Eurofiber, a dark fiber operator, in May 2015. Ultimately, the business was sold, in November 2020, between Antin Infrastructure Partners’ funds – from Fund II to Fund IV. Notably, PGGM acquired a 25% minority interest alongside Antin’s new investment. Overall, Antin Infrastructure Partners II generated a gross multiple of 3.5x on its Eurofiber investment.
Note: see Fund IV below for a further description of the Eurofiber business.
Antin’s €3.6bn third fund began its investment period in 2016 and ceased investing in 2018. As of June 30, 2021, this fund had returned a current gross multiple of 1.5x.
Below we outline investments that Antin Infrastructure Partners III made, including CityFibre, FirstLight Fiber, and Lyntia. Indeed, the firm continues to retain equity ownership in all of these Fund III investments.
CityFibre is an alternative provider of wholesale fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) network infrastructure in the UK, with its network spanning 60+ cities. Presently, the company is pursuing a £4bn fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) deployment to bring its services to 285 towns in the UK.
Antin Infrastructure Partners III first invested in CityFibre in June 2018, acquiring the business alongside West Street Infrastructure Partners, a fund managed by Goldman Sachs’ Merchant Banking Division. Additionally, CityFibre recently completed an £825m ($1.1bn) equity raise from two new minority investors, Mubadala Investment Company and Interogo Holding.
FirstLight Fiber provides fiber-optic data, internet, data center, cloud, and voice services to enterprise and carrier customers throughout the Northeast United States. Specifically, the company connects ~10.0k locations in service, with 30.0k+ locations serviceable, by a 24.0k+ route mile network.
Antin Infrastructure Partners III first invested in FirstLight Fiber in July 2018, acquiring the business from Oak Hill Capital, Novacap, and Riverside Partners.
Lyntia is dark fiber provider of metro and long-haul services in Spain through its 26.0k fiber route miles (41.8k fiber route kilometers). In terms of data center connectivity, the company’s fiber network directly connects to 40+ different facilities in Spain. Additionally, Lyntia’s fiber network connects to Spain’s key internet exchange points (IXPs) and cable landing stations.
Antin Infrastructure Partners III first invested in Lyntia (formerly Ufinet Spain) in July 2018, purchasing the company from Cinven.
Antin’s €6.5bn fourth fund began its investment period in 2019 and has invested 40% of the fund to-date (including signed deals). As of June 30, 2021, this fund had returned a current gross multiple of 1.1x.
Eurofiber has 23.8k fiber route miles (38.3k fiber route kilometers) in the Netherlands, Belgium, France, and Germany. In terms of data center connectivity, the company’s fiber network directly connects to 215+ different facilities in Europe. To this end, Eurofiber offers interconnectivity between nearly all carrier-neutral data centers in the Netherlands and Belgium through DCspine.
Antin Infrastructure Partners IV re-invested in Eurofiber in November 2020, acquiring the business from Antin Infrastructure Partners II.
Mid Cap Fund I
Antin’s €2.2bn Mid Cap Fund I began its investment period, following its close on June 30, 2021. Antin’s Mid Cap Fund I announced its investment into Pulsant in July 2021, purchasing the company from Oak Hill Capital and Scottish Equity Partners.
Pulsant operates a network of 10 regional data centers across seven cities in the United Kingdom. Specifically, these 10 data centers comprise ~18 megawatts of power capacity for 4.3k racks, and span ~215k sqft (20.0k sqm) of total area. Finally, Pulsant’s primary services include colocation, managed cloud, managed hosting, and managed networks.