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The Irish Infrastructure Fund (IIF), managed by Irish Life Investment Managers and AMP Capital, has entered into an agreement to acquire a 78 per cent stake in Ireland's largest wholesale-only carrier, enet.
IIF will form a partnership with existing shareholder Granahan McCourt Capital, a worldwide investor in telecoms and media infrastructure. Granahan McCourt Capital's founder, David C. McCourt, will continue to serve as Chairman and Granahan McCourt Capital will retain its shareholding in the business.
The partnership boosts enet's plans to continue expanding its network and services at home in Ireland, whilst also paving the way to further grow the company's pan-European telecoms infrastructure investment strategy.
David McCourt, founder of Granahan McCourt Capital and Chairman of enet said: "enet and the Irish Infrastructure Fund are committed to making long-term investment in Ireland's future and to gearing its economy for growth – employing our expertise and resources to bring reliable, future-proofed connectivity infrastructure to poorly-served regions. The provision of world-class connectivity infrastructure needs to be viewed as a vital utility, yet many residents and businesses across Europe remain left behind."
AMP Capital's Philip Doyle, Principal of the Irish Infrastructure Fund, said: "The Irish Infrastructure Fund is excited to acquire a stake in enet and to partner with Granahan McCourt Capital who have built a solid business which provides essential telecommunications infrastructure necessary for the continued growth of the Irish economy.
"Demand for enet's connectivity services are growing by close to 10 per cent every year and this acquisition is an attractive opportunity for the IIF to invest in a business that is clearly aligned to the fund's investment strategy, where we see good potential for growth and where the IIF and Granahan McCourt Capital can bring our extensive experience in actively managing and growing telecom businesses."
Patrick Burke, Managing Director, Irish Life Investment Managers, said: "We are delighted to have secured enet as a further asset for the Irish Infrastructure Fund. The core characteristics of infrastructure such as its inherent long life, strong intrinsic value and income distribution means it is one of the fastest growing asset classes in the Irish market. Infrastructure is an excellent match for the long-term liabilities of certain investors, such as DB pension funds and for clients seeing income such as charities and corporates. Irish Life is delighted to be in the unique position of being able to provide our clients with access to a diversified infrastructure investment that is investing in core Irish assets."
Based in Limerick, enet has a strong reputation in telecoms infrastructure, operating Ireland's Metropolitan Area Networks (MANs) on behalf of the Irish State and has become a key player in the provision of digital infrastructure services across the country. The MANs will remain in State ownership post acquisition.
enet's success with the open-access model means it already serves more than one million end-users, with its infrastructure supporting 70 different retail service providers and customers will continue to enjoy the same level of service after the acquisition. enet's experience in telecoms infrastructure, access to substantial investment and track record of policy-delivery equip it to powerfully fulfil Europe's connectivity targets for 2025, for which €500 billion has been pledged.
IIF will acquire its stake from Oakhill Advisors and other minority investors.
The transaction is expected to reach financial close after confirmation of regulatory approvals.
About the Irish Infrastructure Fund
The Irish Infrastructure Fund provides institutional investors globally with a unique opportunity to invest in the Irish infrastructure sector. The fund focuses on privately-owned infrastructure assets, infrastructure assets being privatised by the government and commercial state enterprises and new investment projects. It aims to provide longer term investors with a stable return, from a combination of income yield and capital growth, by investing in a portfolio of infrastructure assets which underpin the Irish economy.
The IIF was launched in 2012 by Irish Life Investment Managers (ILIM) to secure and invest up to € 1bn from global and Irish institutional investors for investment in significant Irish infrastructure assets. In addition to enet, the fund has made four other investments to date, including the establishment of Valley Healthcare, a 75 per cent stake in the 104MW Viridian wind portfolio, wireless telecoms infrastructure business Towercom and the Convention Centre Dublin PPP.
About Irish Life Investment Managers:
Irish Life Investment Managers manages money on behalf of Irish Life and a wide range of international and domestic institutional clients including pension funds, charities and corporates. It is Ireland's largest fund manager with a 46% market share and AUM of over €64.9bn as at the end of December 2016.
About AMP Capital
AMP Capital is a specialist investment manager with more than A$165 billion in funds under management as of 31 December 2016 and more than 250 investment professionals. AMP Capital has a heritage and strength in real estate and infrastructure, and specialist expertise in fixed income, equities and multi-asset solutions. It is a subsidiary of AMP Limited, which was established in 1849, and is one of Australia's largest retail and corporate pension providers.
About Granahan McCourt Capital:
Granahan McCourt Capital is a private investment firm focused on connecting people to innovation in technologically underserved areas of the world. Its team includes some of the most experienced and successful entrepreneurs and business leaders in Technology, Media and Telecom (TMT). Granahan McCourt Capital brings world-class investors with unparalleled experience, global perspective and local knowledge.