goetel GmbH, a fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) provider in rural Germany, which is backed by Basalt Infrastructure Partners, an infrastructure private equity firm, has secured €345m of debt financing from KfW IPEX-Bank, Hamburg Commercial Bank (HCOB), and Kommunalkredit Austria AG, together with an international bank consortium.
Previously, in September 2021, the Basalt Infrastructure Partners III fund agreed to acquire goetel. As such, through this fund, Basalt Infrastructure is funding the equity portion of goetel’s fiber optic network expansion in Germany.
Bank Debt Financing – Basalt Infrastructure’s goetel
Overall, a total of 7 banks are involved in goetel’s €345m project financing. Specifically, the key banks involved in the transaction and their respective roles are:
- Joint Bookrunners and Arrangers: KfW IPEX-Bank, HCOB, Kommunalkredit
- Agent: KfW IPEX-Bank
Additionally, there exists the possibility to increase goetel’s bank financing by an incremental €200m.
Use of Proceeds
goetel will use the proceeds from its €345m bank financing to expand its fiber-optic network in underserved rural regions of Germany and refinance its existing debt. Over the next three years (i.e., by the end of 2024), goetel plans to connect 250k households to its fiber optic network in Germany.
Presently, goetel is a telecommunications service provider in central Germany with locations in Göttingen, Kassel, and Reiskirchen. goetel’s broadband expansion focuses on making connections, through its fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) network, in rural regions of Germany.
As part of its expansion, goetel is deploying fiber optic networks in various rural districts in Germany’s states of Hesse (northern part) and Lower Saxony (southern part). With ~200 employees, goetel currently serves 25k+ customers.
Germany’s Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) Expansion
Germany’s federal government has declared a goal of achieving nationwide coverage with gigabit networks by 2025. As a result, a number of institutional investors, including Basalt Infrastructure, have made commitments to Germany’s fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) market. With Basalt Infrastructure’s backing, goetel pursues self-supported and subsidized FTTH build projects.
Additionally, recent commitments to Germany’s FTTH market include:
- Deutsche Glasfaser (EQT Infrastructure and OMERS) secures €5.75bn of debt financing to invest in fiber optic deployments in Germany
- Deutsche Telekom’s 50%/50% joint venture, known as GlasfaserPlus, with IFM Investors
- iCON Infrastructure’s acquisition of three rural FTTH providers in Germany, collectively known as SFN Group
- Intermediate Capital Group’s TNG Stadtnetz utilizing Deutsche Bahn’s dark fiber network as part of its FTTH roll-out of high-speed internet services
- Liberty Global and InfraVia Capital’s creation of a 50%/50% joint venture, known as Liberty Networks Germany, to build FTTH networks in Germany
- Morgan Stanley Infrastructure’s acquisition of Tele Columbus to provide funding for its fiber network upgrade of 2.4 million homes in Germany
- UBS Asset Management’s €160m commitment to Lünecom, a FTTH provider in rural Northern Germany