CityFibre introduces £1.12 billion debt package for UK fibre roll-out

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Alternative network provider, CityFibre has put in place a debt package of £1.12 billion, proceeds from which are to be used to fund the first part of a £2.5 billion investment plan, which will see the company roll-out full fibre to five million homes by 2025.

Secured from seven major financial institutions including ABN AMRO, Deutsche Bank, Lloyds Bank plc, Natixis, NatWest, Santander and Société Générale, this is said to be the largest debt financing package dedicated to full fibre rollouts in the UK history, representing an important milestone in CityFibre’s plan to improve the country’s digital future.

The package will be used to fund the deployment of the first two million homes of CityFibre’s five million homes target and will expand its existing networks in 37 previously announced UK towns and cities. As well as connecting homes, the provider’s network is designed to serve businesses and public sector sites; provide a superior backbone for mobile operators’ existing locations; enable the rollout of 5G and Internet-of-Things technology and offer future-proofed connectivity to those joining the Gigabit City Club.

The debt package includes a £775-million, seven-year capex facility and £45-million revolving overdraft and working-capital facility. It also includes a £300 million accordion facility. Chief finance officer, Terry Hart, said: ‘As our networks are rolled out, this will benefit everyone, driving innovation and increasing fibre penetration across the UK, providing the future-proof digital connectivity the UK needs. CityFibre’s target to reach five million homes by 2025, as well as thousands of businesses and public sector sites, will catalyse huge economic growth in regional towns and cities across the country.’

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