AMP Capital’s Infrastructure Debt team has closed a junior debt investment with GlobalConnect Group, a leading alternative fibre and data centre services provider to enterprises and consumers in Northern Europe, created from the merger of two digital infrastructure businesses, GlobalConnect and IP-Only, by EQT.
In total, the group operates approximately 74,500 km of fibre and 28,000 sqm of data centre space and provides a full range of communication infrastructure services including bandwidth connectivity, colocation and cloud infrastructure.
GlobalConnect Group is the leading fibre challenger in Norway, Denmark and Sweden with a foothold in Finland and Germany. The goal of the combined entity is to become the leading digital infrastructure provider to businesses, public institutions and consumers with comprehensive national and cross-border fibre networks and a unique position in Northern Europe.
GlobalConnect Group operates across two main business segments: B2B services and B2C (Fibre-to-the-Home roll-out) services. Through its B2B segment, operated under the brand of GlobalConnect, the business provides network-centric mission-critical communication infrastructure across Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland and Northern Germany for enterprise customers. GlobalConnect Group’s B2C services include the installation and provision of fibre network and services to urban and rural single and multi-dwelling units in Sweden and Norway, operated under the brands of IP-Only and Homenet, respectively.
The Scandinavian markets where the business is focussed benefit from having wealthy, competitive economies with high fiscal strength and strong institutions; each are rated AAA by Moody’s and S&P. The Nordic countries rank the highest amongst European peers on the EU Commission’s Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI), demonstrating that these countries are among the global leaders in digitalisation. As a result, demand for data is high and growing, and is supported by an increasing need for fibre to deliver the bandwidth and quality of service required for such digital economies.
The investment with GlobalConnect Group has been made by AMP Capital Infrastructure Debt Fund IV (IDF IV), which closed in October 2019 with US$6.2bn in commitments. The restructuring of the junior debt has been closed including the novation of a prior IDF IV investment with IP-Only to the group level combined with additional commitments to support the growth of the group.
Emma Haight-Cheng, Head of Infrastructure Debt, Europe at AMP Capital, said: “EQT’s merger of two high-quality businesses created an excellent opportunity for IDF IV to increase its exposure to a critical and growing infrastructure sector in a stable and well-regarded geographic area, while offering attractive economics in return.
“Digital infrastructure has been one of the most compelling infrastructure sectors in recent years, and in the current environment, its attractiveness has increased even more. Businesses and customers have had to rely upon digital connectivity more than ever before, cementing its status as a critical service. Through its strong B2B and B2C offerings, GlobalConnect Group is well-positioned to meet the growing demand of these customer bases.
“We are delighted to be able to continue to support world class sponsors such as EQT and deliver structured bespoke solutions to meet their financing needs.”
AMP Capital was advised by Allen & Overy as legal counsel.