U.K.’s CityFibre rounds out network funding with £4.9B in debt

U.K.-based network operator CityFibre announced its fiber build to 8 million homes across the country is now fully funded, after the company supplemented earlier private investments with a £4.9 billion (roughly $6.1 billion) debt package.

The deal includes £3.9 billion in committed facilities as well as a £1 billion accordion facility which will allow CityFibre to increase its line of credit. Core lenders include ABN AMRO, Lloyds Bank and M&G Investments, as well as the government-owned UK Infrastructure Bank. The latter launched in June 2021 with the goal of providing £22 billion in financing for private sector and local government infrastructure projects.

Its announcement comes after CityFibre raised £300 million from Mubadala Investment Company in March to increase its total amount of private funding to £1.4 billion. Other private investors include Interogo Holding, Antin Infrastructure Partners and Goldman Sachs Asset Management’s infrastructure business.

CityFibre said the new debt raise, coupled with its previous private investments, means it now has all the money it needs in hand to finish its fiber rollout. It reiterated it is aiming to reach 8 million homes, 800,000 businesses, 400,000 public sector sites and 250,000 5G access points by 2025.

“With our rollout now fully financed, backed by so many esteemed financial institutions, we have emerged as a strong national challenger,” CityFibre CEO Greg Mesch said in a statement. “But CityFibre’s aim is not simply to challenge. It’s to be better.” Specifically, Mesch said it wants to “establish ourselves as the preferred network wherever we build.”

The operator, which provides wholesale network access, has already struck three major deals with ISPs seeking to tap into its national footprint. Most recently, it inked an agreement with Zen Internet, adding to earlier partnership deals with Vodafone and TalkTalk.