Infracapital, the infrastructure investment division of M&G Investments, today announced that it is launching a rural fiber broadband operator in Austria through the newly formed company, Speed Connect Netzwerkserrichtungs GmbH, which will operate under the name Speed Connect Austria. Specifically, the firm is investing through its €1.5bn Infracapital Greenfield Partners II (IGP II) fund.
Speed Connect Austria – Infracapital Backs Fiber Deployment
Speed Connect Austria designs and builds fiber optic networks in rural communities and small towns in Austria and operates them on a long-term basis. Geographically, the company plans to deploy regional fiber optic networks in several states of Austria.
Overall, Speed Connect Austria’s business plan envisions connecting 500k+ buildings to its fiber optic network. With the backing of Infracapital, Speed Connect Austria states that it will invest a “high three-digit million amount” in the construction of fiber optic networks throughout Austria “in the coming years”.
Open Access Wholesale Fiber Network
Speed Connect Austria’s fiber network will be open to all internet service providers (ISPs) and carriers to offer broadband services to end users. Long-term, this strategy maximizes network utilization and promotes price and quality competition, which benefits end users.
Speed Connect Austria is led by Joachim Otte as Chief Executive Officer. Previously, Otte was managing director of Pronovum GmbH and Solo IT GmbH.
Additionally, Speed Connect Austria’s chairwoman will be Alexandra Reich who was formerly the Chief Executive Officer of dtac, a mobile operator in Thailand owned by Telenor. Prior to this role, Reich was EVP Central & Eastern Europe Cluster of Telenor and Chief Executive Officer of Telenor Hungary.
Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) in Austria
Over the past 3 months, notable commitments have been made by institutional investors to Austria’s fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) market, including:
- Allianz Capital Partners: committed €1bn of equity to roll-out FTTH networks to up to 1 million households in Austria by 2030
- Meridiam: investing €100m+ to build-out a fiber network to 50k+ homes in 29 municipalities of Liezen District, in the state of Styria, Austria
Infracapital – Overview
Infracapital is the infrastructure investment division of M&G Investments, which is part of M&G Group, an asset manager for the long-term savings of 5+ million people. Presently, Infracapital has raised and managed over £6.5bn of client capital across six funds.
Infracapital Greenfield Partners II (IGP II)
Infracapital Greenfield Partners II (IGP II) invests in the later-stage development, construction, and expansion of infrastructure projects and companies in Europe. Specifically, the fund’s sectors of investment focus include utilities, transport, communications, and renewables. IGP II’s €1.5bn of capital seeks Core+ returns and has a focus on making greenfield investments.
Since 2014, Infracapital has been actively investing in the digital infrastructure sub-sector of fiber. To-date, the firm has invested in a total of 8 fiber optic companies. Collectively, Infracapital’s investments have brought high-speed data transmission infrastructure to 2 million households in 5 countries in Europe.