Downing LLP, a UK investment and asset manager, today announced that it has closed its acquisition of, and £145m investment into Broadway Partners Limited, a fixed wireless access (FWA) and fiber broadband provider. Specifically, Downing managed funds’ capital will accelerate Broadway Partners’ deployment of fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) to rural communities across Wales and Scotland.
Downing is acquiring Broadway Partners from Souter Investments, the Scotland-based family office of Sir Brian Souter. Notably, in February 2018, Broadway received growth capital from Souter Investments.
Broadway Partners – Overview
Broadway Partners launched commercial service in 2016 to provide affordable, high-speed broadband services to rural and underserved regions of the UK, particularly Wales and Scotland. Within its targeted towns and villages, Broadway delivers fiber broadband services with speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second to both homes and businesses.
Downing managed funds’ capital will support Broadway Partners in connecting over 250k new homes to fiber broadband by 2025. Furthermore, the investment will speed up Broadway’s overall fiber broadband deployment program.
Presently, Broadway “has connected thousands of premises” in communities including Pembrokeshire, Monmouthshire, Arran, Stirlingshire, Inverness-shire (Loch Ness), Perth & Kinross, and Ayrshire.
Additionally, the company is extending networks into Powys, Ceredigion, Carmarthenshire, Denbighshire, Aberdeenshire, and Argyll & Bute.
Initially, Broadway deployed broadband services using a fixed wireless access (FWA) network. However, the company can now deploy fiber infrastructure, allowing it to offer the most appropriate technology for a particular market.
Broadway Partners is led by Michael Armitage as CEO and Barry Weaver as COO.
Broadway Partners becomes another of the UK’s 20+ well-funded alternative fiber broadband providers. Specifically, the company’s peers include CityFibre, Hyperoptic, Gigaclear, KCOM, Voneus, Community Fibre, G.Network, Trooli, Axione Fibre, and Upp Corporation.
Downing LLP – Funds for Broadway Partners’ Fiber
Downing managed funds’ commitment to Broadway Partners for its fiber deployment in Wales and Scotland marks the firm’s first investment into digital infrastructure.
Notably, Downing is investing capital on behalf of Bagnall Energy and Pulford Trading, companies managed as part of the Downing Estate Planning Service (DEPS). Overall, DEPS targets a return on investment, after its fees, of 3% to 4.5% per annum, over the medium-term.
Acuity Advisors, led by Marcus Allchurch, is serving as financial advisor to Broadway Partners.