Trooli Ltd, a fiber broadband provider in rural UK markets which is backed by Cube Infrastructure Managers (Cube IM), through its Connecting Europe Broadband Fund (CEBF), today announced it has secured a £67.5m senior debt facility from a consortium of commercial lenders, with the potential to upsize the financing, depending on its business needs.
Cube Infrastructure Managers, a private equity firm, originally invested €30m in Trooli in May 2019, through its €555m Connecting Europe Broadband Fund (CEBF). Additionally, in February 2020, Trooli received £5m of debt financing from the UK’s NatWest bank.
Trooli – UK Fiber Broadband Expansion
Presently, Trooli’s fiber network passes 100k+ premises and the company expects to reach 170k passings by the end of 2021. The company’s new £67.5m senior debt facility will be used to expand the reach of Trooli’s fiber network.
Trooli plans to roll-out fiber broadband to 400k premises during 2022, reaching 300 towns and villages. In turn, a total of 3.7k route miles (6.0k route kilometers) of fiber will be laid, to reach these 400k premises.
Furthermore, the company plans to increase its fiber deployments to 1 million premises by year-end 2024. Notably, the company’s fiber build pacing implies ~275k premises passed per year.
Trooli’s existing customer base is primarily in South East England, within the markets of Kent, East Sussex, and Berkshire. Additionally, the company recently launched in East Anglia, where its network will start going live later in 2021.
Trooli’s service brings a full fiber connection directly into a customer’s property. In turn, this 100% fiber broadband enables Trooli to offer customers speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second.
UK Alternative Fiber-to-the-Premises (FTTP) Providers
Trooli is one of 20+ UK alternative fiber broadband providers which include CityFibre, Hyperoptic, Gigaclear, KCOM, Voneus, Community Fibre, G.Network, and Upp Corporation. However, Trooli differentiates itself from the larger alternative fiber providers because it has a focus on bringing fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) in rural and semi-rural communities of the UK.
Overall, many of these UK alternative fiber providers have backing from notable capital providers. For example, below are five significant fiber providers and their backers:
- CityFibre: Antin Infrastructure Partners (Fund III) and West Street Infrastructure Partners, a fund of Goldman Sachs’ Merchant Banking Division. Additionally, Mubadala Investment Company and Interogo Holding (IKEA Group) may soon make a minority investment
- Hyperoptic: KKR’s Global Infrastructure Investors III fund
- KCOM: Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (MIRA) via the Macquarie European Infrastructure Fund 6 (MEIF6)
- Voneus: Macquarie Capital’s Infrastructure Principal and Projects business
- Community Fibre: Warburg Pincus and Deutsche Telekom Capital Partners (DTCP)
Cube Infrastructure Managers – Connecting Europe Broadband Fund (CEBF)
Cube Infrastructure Managers, through its €555m Connecting Europe Broadband Fund (CEBF) has the mandate to invest in underserved markets of Europe. Presently, the fund has 7 investments with a focus on the fiber sub-sector of digital infrastructure. More specifically, these portfolio companies include Rede Aberta (Spain), Rodin Group (Netherlands), RuNe (Croatia and Slovenia), Scancom (Czech Republic), and Unifiber (Italy).