DIF Capital Partners, through its DIF Core Infrastructure Fund II (DIF CIF II), today announced the closing of its agreement with Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) to invest ~$260m USD ($328m Canadian dollars) in rural Manitoba, a Province in Canada, via its portfolio company Valley Fiber Ltd. Specifically, the group will fund what is known as the Manitoba Fibre Project.

Overall, Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) will fund 50% or ~$130m USD ($164m Canadian dollars) of the total Manitoba Fibre Project investment. This implies that DIF Capital Partners will fund the remaining 50%, representing a similar investment amount. DIF notes that “this agreement will significantly grow DIF CIF II’s investment in” Manitoba’s rural communities and Valley Fiber.

Manitoba Fibre Project – DIF Capital, Canada Infrastructure Bank

The Manitoba Fibre Project will bring broadband to rural and underserved communities in Manitoba, Canada. Specifically, the project will expand Valley Fiber’s network by connecting 48.5k underserved households with fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) in Manitoba’s rural municipalities, over the coming years.

Manitoba Fibre Project – Map (#14)

Within the Province, the Manitoba Fibre Project deployment regions include West Interlake, East Interlake, Central Manitoba, Eastern Manitoba, and the Winnipeg River Region.

Digital Infrastructure

DIF Capital and Canada Infrastructure Bank’s Manitoba Fibre Project involves constructing 1.65k miles (2.66k kilometers) of fiber-optic cabling.

Valley Fiber, a portfolio company of DIF Capital, will construct, install, operate, and maintain the new fiber infrastructure. Indeed, this will include last-mile infrastructure, with fiber lines buried underground, as well as networking equipment. Notably, construction has already begun and is expected to be completed in 2024.

Service Offerings

Valley Fiber will offer broadband service, with speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second, to homes, businesses, and public service organizations. This includes Valley Fiber’s product offerings such as internet, television, and phone. Overall, the company’s goal is to provide reliable, fast, and affordable internet access across Manitoba, Canada.

Valley Fiber – DIF Capital Invests in Manitoba, Canada

Valley Fiber is an internet service provider (ISP) that develops, constructs, and operates fiber and fixed wireless infrastructure for residential and commercial use. In April 2020, DIF Core Infrastructure Fund II completed an investment into Valley Fiber, acquiring an ~80% equity stake.

At the time of this investment, Valley Fiber operated in 20+ municipalities of Manitoba. Beyond fiber infrastructure, the company also operates 48 wireless towers for the purposes of providing fixed wireless access (FWA) services.

DIF Core Infrastructure Fund II (DIF CIF II) – Overview

DIF Capital Partners is an infrastructure fund with €9.0bn+ in assets under management (AUM). The firm’s fund, DIF Core Infrastructure Fund II (DIF CIF II), invests in small- and mid-sized infrastructure assets globally, targeting mid-term contracted cash flows with a modest risk profile.

DIF CIF II is a €1.0bn fund which invests in infrastructure predominantly in the sub-sectors of digital, transportation, and energy. For example, within its prior vehicle, DIF Core Infrastructure Fund I (DIF CIF I) the firm’s digital infrastructure investments include:

  • Edsger: 49% equity stake overall in seven data centers located throughout the United States. Each facility offers ~5 megawatts to 15 megawatts of critical power capacity
  • ADTiM: 55% equity stake overall in two fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) concessions in the Ardèche and Drôme regions of South-East France

Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) – Overview

The Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) has a mandate to invest $35bn Canadian dollars (~$28bn USD) and attract private sector investment into new revenue-generating infrastructure projects. Importantly, these projects need to be in the public interest and support Canada’s economic growth.

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

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