Ardian, a French private equity firm, through its €7.5bn Ardian Buyout Fund VII, announced that it has agreed to acquire a majority stake in Aire Networks, a wholesale fiber provider in Spain, from Magnum Industrial Partners (formerly Magnum Capital Partners) for more than €600m ($630m USD), according to press reports from elEconomista. In terms of financing the transaction, Ardian’s initial equity commitment is reportedly around €350m ($368m USD).

In 2021, Aire Networks reported revenue of over €110m and EBITDA of €34m, implying an EBITDA margin of 31%. Therefore, based on the €600m enterprise value ascribed to Aire Networks, Ardian is valuing the business at a ~17.6x EV/EBITDA multiple.

Presently, Ardian, through Ardian Infrastructure, is also the owner of Adamo Telecom Iberia, a rural fiber broadband provider in Spain, which it recently acquired from EQT for €1bn+.

Aire Networks – Ardian Doubles Down on Fiber in Spain

Aire Networks was founded in 2002 and is headquartered in Elche (Alicante), Spain. In July 2018, Magnum Industrial Partners first invested in Aire Networks, acquiring a 60% ownership stake.

Network

Aire Networks covers 90% of Spain’s national territory, with a network that spans over 19.9k miles (32.0k kilometers) through fiber-optics and radio links.

Aire Networks Spain Connectivity Map

Of this total, the company operates a fiber network traversing 16.8k miles (27.0k kilometers), with 55 points-of-presence (PoPs).

Aire Networks Spain Fiber Deployment

Aire’s network is connected to peering points in Spain, including in Alicante, Barcelona, Cádiz, Madrid, Málaga, Murcia, Seville, Valencia, and Zaragoza. Additionally, the company offers four peering points internationally, in the United States, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and Germany.

More specifically, Aire Networks connects to major internet exchange points (IXPs) from AMS-IX, London Internet Exchange (LINX), DE-CIX, Equinix, and ESpanix.

Services

Aire Networks provides wholesale services to local & regional network operators and enterprises, including:

  • Connectivity: IP transit, on-net, transit backup, point-to-point, dedicated internet access (DIA), virtual private LAN, business fiber
  • Voice: SIP trunking, mobile telephony, virtual PBX, fax to mail, mass SMS sending
  • Audiovisual: platform TV OTT/IPTV/hybrid, transport of audiovisual content
  • Cloud and Data Center: colocation, XaaS (anything-as-a-service)

Management

Aire Networks is led by Raúl Aledo as Chief Executive Officer, Miguel Tecles as Chief Technology Officer, and Emilio Gras as Chief Information Officer of the company. Importantly, each of these executives are also re-investing in Aire Networks, gaining a meaningful stake in the company, alongside Ardian.

Transaction Advisors

Magnum Industrial Partners and Aire Networks’ financial advisors were Arma Partners and Evercore.

Spain Fiber Investments

Beyond Ardian’s investments in Aire Networks and Adamo Telecom Iberia, Spain’s fiber sector has recently attracted a number of institutional investors, which have made investments in the following companies:

Jonathan Kim covers Fiber for Dgtl Infra, including Zayo Group (private), Cogent Communications (NASDAQ: CCOI), Uniti Group (NASDAQ: UNIT), and Lumen Technologies (NYSE: LUMN). Within Fiber, Jonathan focuses on the sub-sectors of wholesale / dark fiber, enterprise fiber, fiber-to-the-home (FTTH), and subsea cables.

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