DELTA Fiber, a fiber-based broadband provider in the Netherlands backed by the EQT Infrastructure III fund, today announced that it has been acquired by the EQT Infrastructure V fund and Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners, through its Stonepeak Infrastructure Fund IV vehicle. Upon completion of the transaction, which will close in December 2021, both EQT and Stonepeak will hold a 50% stake in the company and co-control DELTA Fiber’s board of directors.
Notably, with EQT Infrastructure V’s acquisition of a 50% stake in DELTA Fiber, the fund will be 60% to 65% invested, including closed and/or signed investments.
DELTA Fiber – Overview
Operating under the DELTA and Caiway (CAIW) brands, DELTA Fiber provides broadband at speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second, TV, and fixed & mobile telephony to both consumers and businesses in the Netherlands.
DELTA Fiber owns both fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) and hybrid fiber-coaxial (HFC) networks in the Netherlands. Importantly, the company owns and operates 31.0k route miles (~50.0k route kilometers) of fiber-based network infrastructure. Presently, DELTA Fiber has 900k home and business passings, throughout the country, which connect to its fiber and HFC networks.
By expanding its network, DELTA Fiber will grow to 2 million fiber connections for homes and businesses by 2025. This represents fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) passings that cover 25% of the Netherlands. Specifically, the company will target locations predominantly in suburban and rural areas throughout the country.
In terms of deployment pacing, DELTA Fiber will build-out 20k new passings per month. Therefore, by the end of 2021, the company expects to reach 1 million connections. Furthermore, this pacing will allow DELTA Fiber to hit its 2 million fiber connections target over the subsequent four years.
Given that DELTA Fiber’s existing network has a hybrid fiber-coaxial (HFC) infrastructure component, a portion of the company’s new fiber passings will be upgrades to its present HFC plant.
Critically, the company’s fiber broadband is more sustainable and energy efficient than legacy networks (e.g., copper). Indeed, DELTA Fiber achieves 40% to 60% lower energy consumption through fiber infrastructure than legacy networks.
Debt Refinancing – DELTA Fiber
In August 2021, DELTA Fiber secured a €2bn debt refinancing package that will be used for the roll-out of its fiber network to 2 million homes and businesses throughout the Netherlands. DELTA Fiber’s fixed financing offers an initial €1.45bn of proceeds. Additionally, this financing can expand by an incremental €600m of proceeds, tied to the company’s continued deployment of new fiber infrastructure.
EQT and Stonepeak – Fiber and Residential Broadband Investments
Beyond DELTA Fiber, EQT Infrastructure and Stonepeak’s current investments in the fiber and residential broadband sub-sector of digital infrastructure include: