EQT acquires the leading Maltese telecom operator Melita

eqt

  • EQT Infrastructure acquires Melita from Apax Partners and Fortino Capital
  • Melita owns state of the art converged fixed and mobile telecom infrastructure and is the market leading operator on Malta
  • EQT Infrastructure to support growth of Melita by investing in its network and is committed to continue to provide high quality services to current and future customer

EQT Infrastructure IV (“EQT” or “EQT Infrastructure”), has signed an agreement to acquire Melita Limited (“Melita” or the “Company”) from Apax Partners and Fortino Capital

Founded in 1991, Melita is a fully converged and diversified telecommunication infrastructure owner as well as a leading services provider in Malta. Melita services consumers, business and government customers on Malta with mainly four types of products: nationwide Gigabit broadband services for households and small businesses, mobile and fixed telephony as well as TV services. Melita also offers colocation services and operates a purpose-built data centre. Melita will continue to operate under the leadership of CEO Harald Rösch, a longstanding Industrial Advisor to EQT.

EQT Infrastructure intends to support Melita’s growth by further upgrading its fixed and mobile networks and opening an additional data centre location on Malta. It will also support Melita’s internationalization strategy including its expansion in Italy as well as its innovative IoT connectivity proposition.

Ulrich Köllensperger, Partner at EQT Partners and Investment Advisor to EQT Infrastructure IV, comments: “EQT has been built on a passion for developing companies. We invest in good companies across the globe with the aim of turning them not only into great companies but also sustainable ones. This is exactly the formula we aim to apply to Melita, which is already an innovator in the Maltese market and beyond in terms of infrastructure, products and customer service. As a result, we are confident that the coming months and years will be exciting and rewarding both for Melita’s employees and for its customers.”

Harald Rösch, CEO of Melita, said: “This transaction is another proof of our success over the last years, built on the hard work from all employees and support from our owners. Thanks to our customers’ continued loyalty and increased trust we have positioned Melita as a telecom market leader in Malta in terms of innovation, technology and customer satisfaction. With the backing of EQT Infrastructure and their extensive experience in our industry, we will continue the journey by developing our networks and providing outstanding customer experience in the years to come. Melita is ideally positioned to grow in the Maltese telecom market and beyond.”

The parties have agreed not to disclose financial details of the transaction. The proposed transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals.

Clifford Chance and Ganado Advocates acted as legal advisors to EQT Infrastructure.

Contacts
Ulrich Köllensperger, Partner at EQT Partners, Investment Advisor to EQT Infrastructure, +41 44 266 68 08
EQT Press office, +46 8 506 55 334
Malta: Conway Wigg, BPC Communications, +356 2124 321, info@bpc.com.mt

About EQT
EQT is a leading investment firm with more than EUR 61 billion in raised capital across 29 funds and around EUR 40 billion in assets under management. EQT funds have portfolio companies in Europe, Asia and the US with total sales of more than EUR 19 billion and approximately 110,000 employees. EQT works with portfolio companies to achieve sustainable growth, operational excellence and market leadership.

More info: www.eqtpartners.com

About Melita
Founded in 1991, Melita is the market leading operator and owner of future-proof and converged fixed and mobile telecom infrastructure on Malta, offering mobile, fixed telephony, broadband and TV services to consumers, businesses and government clients. Melita also offers colocation services and operates a purpose-built data center.

More info: www.melita.com 

About Apax
Apax Partners is a leading European private equity firm based in Paris. With more than 45 years of experience, Apax Partners provides long-term equity funding to build and strengthen world-class companies. Funds managed and advised by Apax Partners exceed €3.3 billion. These funds invest in fast-growing middle-market companies across four sectors of specialisation: TMT, Consumer, Healthcare and Services.Paris-headquartered Apax Partners (www.apax.fr) and London-headquartered Apax Partners (www.apax.com) have a shared history but are separate, independent firms

More info: www.apax.fr

About Fortino Capital Partners
Fortino Capital Partners is an investment company that was founded in 2013 and is led by Duco Sickinghe, Renaat Berckmoes and Matthias Vandepitte. Fortino Capital invests in remarkable companies of today and tomorrow and actively helps companies to capture opportunities. They accelerate businesses and turn ambition into growth. The company manages a venture capital fund of EUR 80 million and a digital growth fund of EUR 200 million, which focuses on software and digital transformation. Fortino Capital’s investment portfolio includes Teamleader, Bloomon, Aproplan and MobileXpense, among others.

More info: www.fortino.be

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EQT Infrastructure acquires Melita

Fortino Capital

May 2019. EQT Infrastructure IV (“EQT” or “EQT Infrastructure”), has signed an agreement to acquire Melita Limited (“Melita” or the “Company”) from Apax Partners and Fortino Capital. 

Founded in 1991, Melita is a fully converged and diversified telecommunication infrastructure owner as well as a leading services provider in Malta. Melita services consumers, business and government customers on Malta with mainly four types of products: nationwide Gigabit broadband services for households and small businesses, mobile and fixed telephony as well as TV services. Melita also offers colocation services and operates a purpose-built data centre. Melita will continue to operate under the leadership of CEO Harald Rösch, a longstanding Industrial Advisor to EQT.

EQT Infrastructure intends to support Melita’s growth by further upgrading its fixed and mobile networks and opening an additional data centre location on Malta. It will also support Melita’s internationalization strategy including its expansion in Italy as well as its innovative IoT connectivity proposition.

Ulrich Köllensperger, Partner at EQT Partners and Investment Advisor to EQT Infrastructure IV, comments: “EQT has been built on a passion for developing companies. We invest in good companies across the globe with the aim of turning them not only into great companies but also sustainable ones. This is exactly the formula we aim to apply to Melita, which is already an innovator in the Maltese market and beyond in terms of infrastructure, products and customer service. As a result, we are confident that the coming months and years will be exciting and rewarding both for Melita’s employees and for its customers.”

Harald Rösch, CEO of Melita, said: “ This transaction is another proof of our success over the last years, built on the hard work from all employees and support from our owners. Thanks to our customers’ continued loyalty and increased trust we have positioned Melita as a telecom market leader in Malta in terms of innovation, technology and customer satisfaction.  With the backing of EQT Infrastructure and their extensive experience in our industry, we will continue the journey by developing our networks and providing outstanding customer experience in the years to come. Melita is ideally positioned to grow in the Maltese telecom market and beyond.”

Thomas de Villeneuve, partner at Apax Partners, said: “We are very proud of the journey achieved by Melita over those last 3 years. Under the leadership of Harald, Melita has heavily invested in its network, its digitial transformation to become a world class operator. We congratulate Harald and the whole Melita team for the amazing work they have achieved that also benefits to the whole Maltese community”.

Duco Sickinghe, Managing Partner at Fortino Capital Partners, comments: “We have enjoyed working with Apax Partners and Melita’s dedicated management team to build a leading telecom service provider in Malta. A company that every day again tries to serve its customers in the best possible way by using the latest available technologies.”

The parties have agreed not to disclose financial details of the transaction. The proposed transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals.

Read the press release by Melita here: https://www.melita.com/eqt-acquires-melita/

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MOBILEXPENSE strengthens international footprint by acquiring the Swedish market leader in travel expense management

Fortino Capital

MobileXpense, the Brussels-based company that provides worldwide mobile solutions for travel expense management, is making its first strategic acquisition in taking over eBuilder Travel, the travel and expense management market leader in Sweden. This further strengthens MobileXpense’s position as a key international software supplier. In 2017, Fortino Capital Partners invested 20 million euros in the company’s commercial growth and the development of new mobile services.

Pieter Geeraerts, CEO, clarifies MobileXpense’s ambition: “MobileXpense has shown substantial and consistent growth in recent years. This acquisition allows us to further heighten our position in the international market where we have become a leading European player able to challenge the world’s largest software suppliers. We want to maintain this pioneering position and develop solutions that are able to follow the most complex processes of large multinational corporate and governmental organizations.”

MobileXpense was founded in 2000 as one of the first European Software-as-a-Service (Saas) companies. It specializes in software applications for travel and expense management and offers complete automation of the entire process from planning and booking, to reimbursement and accounting. MobileXpense has become a front-row service provider for multinationals in Europe, the UK, the US, Latin America and China.

This success is due to the solution’s user-friendliness, flexible integration with existing Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and payroll solutions, and particularly its compliance with local tax regulations and procedures in more than 70 countries. MobileXpense currently has 1.2 million users worldwide, spread over 100+ countries and almost 300 corporate customers including blue-chip companies such as Canon, UCB, DB Schenker or Panalpina but also the Belgian National Bank and the Dutch government.

In 2018, Pieter Geeraerts joined MobileXpense as its new CEO, bringing along his strong track record in growing software companies. Today, MobileXpense reaches another important milestone with the acquisition of eBuilder Travel, a strong player in travel and expense management in the Nordics. With this acquisition, MobileXpense obtains a solid set of large customers in Sweden and Finland backed by a strong team of local experts and aims to further expand its activities in the Nordics and strengthen its international offering.

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BC Partners Completes Acquisition of United Group, South Eastern Europe’s Leading Cable, Telecoms and Media Group

 

 

One of the largest single foreign direct investments in South Eastern Europe

London and Amsterdam, 04 March 2019 – BC Partners, a leading international investment firm, today announced the completion of the acquisition of majority ownership of United Group B.V. (“United Group”) from KKR, following the receipt of all necessary regulatory approvals. KKR and United Group’s management team will retain a substantial minority stake.

Founded in Serbia, and headquartered in Amsterdam, United Group is the leading independent media and communication services provider across South East Europe. Through significant investments in digital infrastructure, content and proprietary technology, it provides market-leading services to its customers across the region. Over the past 18 years the Group has expanded its presence through both organic growth and acquisitions, now employing over 4,400 staff and providing services to over 1.8 million homes.

Nikos Stathopoulos, Partner at BC Partners said: “We are delighted to have completed this transaction with United Group’s management team and KKR, and look forward to supporting the company’s next phase of growth. United Group is a high-quality asset, with defensive growth characteristics, leading infrastructure, differentiated content and a growing base of loyal customers. Its attractive and integrated business model and regional leadership position provide an excellent platform for further organic growth and strategic acquisitions across Europe.”

Since its investment in 2014, KKR has supported United Group’s efforts to build the company into the leading provider of communications and media services in South Eastern Europe. United Group’s fibre and cable networks have the largest presence in the region, covering 1.8 million homes which benefit from broadband speeds over 2.4x higher than local peers and high quality local and international content.

Jean-Pierre Saad, Managing Director at KKR said: “We are proud of the many achievements of United Group over the last five years. It is a great example of a truly convergent operator across communications and media with market leading product innovation and services. We will remain closely committed to the further development of United Group and are looking forward to working with BC Partners and the management team to further strengthen the company’s growth.”

Morgan Stanley and LionTree acted as advisers to BC Partners while Credit Suisse advised United Group.

Media contact:
BC Partners – Prosek Partners
Pro-BCPartners@prosek.com
+44 (0)20 8323 0475

KKR
Alastair Elwen
Finsbury
alastair.elwen@finsbury.com
+44 (0)20 7251 3801

About BC Partners

BC Partners is a leading international investment firm with over €20 billion of assets under management in private equity and private credit. Established in 1986, BC Partners has played an active role in developing the European buy-out market for three decades. Today, BC Partners executives operate across markets as an integrated team through the firm’s offices in North America and Europe.
Since inception, BC Partners has completed 105 private equity investments in companies with a total enterprise value of €130 billion and is currently investing its tenth private equity fund. For more information, please visit www.bcpartners.com.

About KKR 

KKR is a leading global investment firm that manages multiple alternative asset classes, including private equity, energy, infrastructure, real estate and credit, with strategic partners that manage hedge funds. KKR aims to generate attractive investment returns for its fund investors by following a patient and disciplined investment approach, employing world-class people, and driving growth and value creation with KKR portfolio companies. KKR invests its own capital alongside the capital it manages for fund investors and provides financing solutions and investment opportunities through its capital markets business. References to KKR’s investments may include the activities of its sponsored funds. For additional information about KKR & Co. Inc (NYSE: KKR), please visit KKR’s website at www.kkr.com and on Twitter @KKR_Co.

About United Group

Founded in 2000, United Group is the leading multi-play telecoms and media provider in South East Europe, providing customers with a full range of telecommunications services. It has the broadest network coverage in the region and offers customers an unrivalled selection of content, from local offerings to the best selection from across the globe. United Group operates in six countries (through brands such as SBB, Telemach, and United Media, and channels such as SportKlub, Nova TV and N1TV) plus a global OTT service, reaching 3.74 million subscribers in 1.8 million homes, employing 4,400 people.

United Group’s international investors include KKR and now BC Partners as the majority investor.

www.united.group/about/

KKR

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Lumos Networks and Spirit Communications rebrand as SEGRA

eqt

EQT portfolio company Lumos Networks and Spirit Communications today announced the completion of their rebranding as SEGRASM. The name, derived from an ancient word meaning “to win,” represents Segra’s focus on providing innovative, industry-leading solutions and services. 

EQT Infrastructure III acquired Lumos Networks (“Lumos”) in 2017 with an objective to grow the company’s fiber business both organically and inorganically, and to capitalize on attractive market trends. The later purchase of a majority stake in Spirit Communications (“Spirit”) and subsequent combination of the two companies marked an important step in this ambition. Today, the combined company launched its new brand: Segra.

“Spirit and Lumos were a natural fit given their shared focus on providing innovative, industry-leading fiber-based solutions and services, and we couldn’t be more excited about the outcome. The rebranding to Segra represents the successful combination of the two companies and the creation of one of the largest independent fiber bandwidth companies in the US,” said Jan Vesely, Partner at EQT Partners and Investment Advisor to EQT Infrastructure. “EQT looks forward to continuing to support Segra as it continues to grow, innovate and better serve its customers’ needs.”

Read Segra’s rebranding press release here.

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Altice and KKR Announce the Creation of Hivory

KKR

LONDON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Dec. 18, 2018– Altice Europe and KKR, a leading global investment firm, today jointly announce the creation of Hivory, the largest independent telecoms tower company in Franceand third largest European tower company. The creation of Hivory follows the successful completion of the transaction announced in June, of KKR’s acquisition of a 49.99% stake in a portfolio of more than 10,000 of Altice’s French towers.

Hivory is a high-quality telecoms infrastructure provider with a nationwide presence, benefiting from more than 10,000 strategically located sites with a diversified portfolio of ground-based towers and rooftops. The company is focused on serving the growing infrastructure needs for mobile operators to provide connectivity to all parts of the French population, meeting continued strong demand for data consumption and increased coverage.

Through Hivory, Altice and KKR will proactively seek to partner with all mobile operators to develop their coverage and densification objectives in France, through the build-to-suit of new towers and facilitating colocation needs in the French mobile market.

The company will seek to contribute to the development of French technology infrastructure and innovation, supporting telecom players on the eve of the ‘New Deal’ for French mobile and 5G roll out.

Alain Weill, CEO of Altice Europe, and Vincent Policard, Member at KKR in the European Infrastructure team, jointly said: “Altice and KKR are excited about the prospects for Hivory in improving mobile connectivity in France and building the telecommunications infrastructure critical for modern society. Hivory will benefit from strong market tailwinds, as well as the sector expertise and operational resources which Altice and KKR will provide through our partnership.”

-ends-

About Altice Europe

Altice Europe (ATC & ATCB), listed on Euronext Amsterdam, is a convergent leader in telecoms, content, media, entertainment and advertising. Altice delivers innovative, customer-centric products and solutions that connect and unlock the limitless potential of its over 30 million customers over fiber networks and mobile broadband. Altice is also a provider of enterprise digital solutions to millions of business customers. The company innovates with technology, research and development and enables people to live out their passions by providing original content, high-quality and compelling TV shows, and international, national and local news channels. Altice delivers live broadcast premium sports events and enables its customers to enjoy the most well-known media and entertainment.

About KKR

KKR is a leading global investment firm that manages multiple alternative asset classes, including private equity, energy, infrastructure, real estate and credit, with strategic partners that manage hedge funds. KKR aims to generate attractive investment returns for its fund investors by following a patient and disciplined investment approach, employing world-class people, and driving growth and value creation with KKR portfolio companies. KKR invests its own capital alongside the capital it manages for fund investors and provides financing solutions and investment opportunities through its capital markets business.

References to KKR’s investments may include the activities of its sponsored funds. For additional information about KKR & Co. Inc. (NYSE:KKR), please visit KKR’s website at www.kkr.com and on Twitter @KKR_Co.

Source: KKR

Media Contacts
For Altice:
Arthur Dreyfuss
Head of Communications, Altice Europe
Phone: +41 79 946 4931
Email: arthur.dreyfuss@altice.net

For KKR:
Alastair Elwen Finsbury
Phone: +44(0)20 7251 3801
Email: alastair.elwen@finsbury.com

Olivier Blain
Adding Value Conseils
Email: ob@addingvalueconseils.com
Phone: +33 6 72 28 29 20

 

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KKR and Tencent Lead Investment in the Philippines’ Voyager Innovations

KKR

Investment in the Philippines’ Leading Technology Company Supports Greater Financial Inclusion and Access to Mobile Internet for Filipinos

MANILA, Philippines–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Oct. 4, 2018– PLDT Inc. (NYSE: PHI|PSE: TEL), the leading telecommunications and digital services provider in the Philippines, global investment firm KKR (NYSE: KKR), and Tencent Holdings Ltd.(0700.HK), a leading provider of internet services in China, announced today the signing of agreements under which investors led by KKR and Tencent will separately subscribe to a total of up to US$175 million worth of newly-issued shares in Voyager Innovations, giving them a substantial minority stake in the Philippines’ leading digital technology company.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here:https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20181004005328/en/

Upon the closing of the transaction, which is expected within the fourth quarter of 2018, PLDT will remain as the majority shareholder of Voyager Innovations. The agreements also contain provisions for Voyager Innovations to issue additional shares to other investors which, if this were to occur, would reduce PLDT’s ownership to less than 50% while still remaining as the largest shareholder.

The new external funding in Voyager Innovations marks the largest investment to date in a Philippine technology company. With the global expertise and fresh capital from the new investors, Voyager Innovations will enable greater access to mobile payments and the internet as a whole for the country’s population.

Voyager Innovations’ mission is to accelerate digital and financial inclusion in the Philippines and enable the broader Filipino population to participate in the digital economy. The company’s award-winning technology platforms support the following digital services:

  • PayMaya, the most recognized prepaid payment wallet service in the Philippines, enabling Filipinos to shop online, pay bills, buy airtime load, and send money;
  • PayMaya Business, the largest mobile acquiring service in the Philippines, enabling enterprises of all sizes to accept digital payments;
  • Smart Padala, the largest mobile-based remittance network in the Philippines;
  • Lendr, the largest digital lending platform in the Philippines; and,
  • freenet, the most popular rewards app for free access to the internet and apps in the Philippines.

Manuel V. Pangilinan, Chairman, President and CEO of PLDT, said: “Having global powerhouses such as KKR and Tencentas investors in Voyager Innovations demonstrates not only their confidence in the company’s ability to execute its vision, but also their confidence in the Philippine technology industry as a whole.”

Orlando B. Vea, President and CEO of Voyager Innovations, said: “This is a watershed moment not only for Voyager Innovations but also for the Philippines. With this investment by KKR and Tencent, we will trigger an inflection point in digital adoption and financial inclusion in the country.”

Terence Lee, Director on KKR’s Southeast Asia team, said: “We are excited about Voyager Innovations and to further invest behind online payments leaders in emerging markets. Voyager Innovations provides critical digital and financial services to millions of Filipinos looking to join the digital economy for work and play. We look forward to leveraging our industry expertise and resources to help enhance the company’s mission of financial inclusion and accelerate its growth at a time when the digital economy is more important than ever.”

KKR’s investment in Voyager Innovations is being funded from KKR Asian Fund III. The investment is KKR’s first private equity investment in the Philippines and is part of the firm’s strategy to invest in high-growth markets that the firm believes can benefit from a rapid increase in technology adoption. Other investments KKR has made in the technology and fintech sectors include Go-Jek (Indonesia’s leading on-demand mobile platform for ride hailing, food delivery, and mobile payments), Suishou Technology (one of China’s largest personal finance management platforms) and First Data (global payment technology and services solutions provider with a presence in 118 countries).

James Mitchell, Chief Strategy Officer of Tencent, said: “Voyager Innovations connects the growing smartphone population in the Philippines to online payments and financial services. Tencent is glad to support Voyager Innovations and to advance financial inclusion.”

The foregoing investment in Voyager Innovations is not subject to the compulsory merger notification regime under the Philippine Competition Act and its Implementing Rules and Regulations. In addition, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, the Philippines’ central bank, confirmed that it interposes no objection to the investment.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch is acting as financial advisor to Voyager Innovations. Latham & Watkins and Picazo Buyco Tan Fider & Santos are acting as legal counsel to PLDT and Voyager Innovations. Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, and Sycip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan are acting as legal counsel to KKR and Tencent.

ABOUT PLDT

PLDT is the leading telecommunications provider in the Philippines. Through its principal business groups–fixed line and wireless–PLDT offers a wide range of telecommunications services across the Philippines’ most extensive fiber optic backbone and fixed line, and mobile network. PLDT is listed on the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE: TEL) and its American Depositary Shares are listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE:PHI). PLDT has one of the largest market capitalizations among Philippine listed companies. Further information can be obtained by visiting the web at www.pldt.com.

ABOUT VOYAGER INNOVATIONS

Voyager Innovations is the leading technology company in the Philippines focused on developing customer-centric emerging market platforms in the areas of digital payments, digital finance, and marketing technologies. For more information, visit www.voyagerinnovation.com.

ABOUT KKR

KKR is a leading global investment firm that manages multiple alternative asset classes, including private equity, energy, infrastructure, real estate and credit, with strategic manager partnerships that manage hedge funds. KKR aims to generate attractive investment returns for its fund investors by following a patient and disciplined investment approach, employing world-class people, and driving growth and value creation with KKR portfolio companies. KKR invests its own capital alongside the capital it manages for fund investors and provides financing solutions and investment opportunities through its capital markets business. References to KKR’s investments may include the activities of its sponsored funds. For additional information about KKR & Co. Inc. (NYSE: KKR), please visit KKR’s website at www.kkr.com and on Twitter @KKR_Co.

ABOUT TENCENT

Tencent uses technology to enrich the lives of Internet users. Our social products WeChat and QQ link our users to a rich digital content catalogue including games, video, music and books. Our proprietary targeting technology helps advertisers reach out to hundreds of millions of consumers in China. Our infrastructure services including payment, security, cloud and artificial intelligence create differentiated offerings and support our partners’ business growth. Tencent invests heavily in people and innovation, enabling us to evolve with the Internet.

Tencent was founded in Shenzhen, China, in 1998. Shares of Tencent (0700.HK) are traded on the Main Board of the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong.

Source: KKR

INVESTORS:
PLDT
Anabelle L. Chua
alchua@pldt.com.ph
Melissa V. Vergel de Dios
mvvergeldedios@pldt.com.ph
Voyager Innovations
Duane Williams
investor@voyagerinnovation.com
KKR
Craig Larson
investor-relations@kkr.com
TENCENT
Jane Yip
janeyip@tencent.com
PH Cheung
phcheung@tencent.com
MEDIA:
PLDT
Ramon R. Isberto
rrisberto@pldt.com.ph
Voyager Innovations
Nick B. Wilwayco
pr@voyagerinnovation.com
KKR
Cara Major
Cara.Major@KKR.com
David Katz
David.Katz@KKR.com
TENCENT
Jane Yip
janeyip@tencent.com
PH Cheung
phcheung@tencent.com

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BC Partners to Acquire United Group, the Leading Cable and Media Operator in South Eastern Europe

KKR

Investment further strengthens ambition of United Group as the regional leader in communication and media

KKR maintaining substantial minority stake

LONDON & AMSTERDAM–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Sep. 27, 2018– Funds advised by BC Partners (“BC Partners”), a leading international investment firm, today announced the signing of a definitive agreement whereby BC Partners will acquire majority ownership of United Group B.V. (“United Group”) from KKR, a leading global investment firm. KKR will retain a substantial minority stake. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed, and the transaction is subject to relevant regulatory approvals.

United Group is the leading media and communication services provider across South East Europe. Through significant investments in digital infrastructure, content and proprietary technology, it provides market-leading services to its customers across the region. Over the past 18 years the Group has expanded its presence through both organic growth and acquisitions, now employing over 3,400 staff and providing services to over 1.8m homes.

Nikos Stathopoulos, Partner at BC Partners said: “We are delighted to partner with United Group’s management team and KKR to support the company’s next phase of growth. United Group is a high-quality asset, with defensive growth characteristics, leading infrastructure, differentiated content and loyal customers. Its attractive and integrated business model and regional leadership position it well for further organic and acquisitive growth.”

Since its investment in 2014, KKR has supported United Group to build the company into the leading provider of communications and media services in South Eastern Europe. United Group’s fibre and cable networks have the largest presence in the region, covering 1.82m homes which benefit from broadband speeds over 2.6x higher than local peers and high quality local and international content.

Jean-Pierre Saad, Managing Director at KKR said: “We are proud of the way in which United Group has developed over the last five years. It is a great example of a truly convergent operator across communications and media with market leading product innovation and services. We will remain closely committed to the further development of United Group and are looking forward to working with BC Partners and the management team to further strengthen the company’s growth.”

Morgan Stanley and LionTree are acting as advisers to BC Partners while Credit-Suisse is advising United Group.

-ENDS-

About BC Partners

BC Partners is a leading international investment firm with over EUR18 billion of assets under management in private equity and private credit. Established in 1986, BC Partners has played an active role in developing the European buy-out market for three decades. Today, BC Partners executives operate across markets as an integrated team through the firm’s offices in North America and Europe.

Since inception, BC Partners Private Equity has completed 104 private equity investments in companies with a total enterprise value of €129 billion and is currently investing its tenth private equity fund. On the Private Credit front BC Partners Credit is currently investing Special Opportunities Fund I. For more information, please visit www.bcpartners.com.

About KKR

KKR is a leading global investment firm that manages multiple alternative asset classes, including private equity, energy, infrastructure, real estate and credit, with strategic manager partnerships that manage hedge funds. KKR aims to generate attractive investment returns for its fund investors by following a patient and disciplined investment approach, employing world-class people, and driving growth and value creation with KKR portfolio companies. KKR invests its own capital alongside the capital it manages for fund investors and provides financing solutions and investment opportunities through its capital markets business. References to KKR’s investments may include the activities of its sponsored funds. For additional information about KKR & Co. Inc (NYSE: KKR), please visit KKR’s website at www.kkr.com and on Twitter @KKR_Co.

Source: KKR

Media Contacts
For BC Partners
Henrietta Dehn / Jonathan Hodgkinson
Prosek Partners
Phone: +44(0)20 3878 8566
Email: pro-bcpartners@prosek.com
or
For KKR
Alastair Elwen
Finsbury
Phone: +44(0)20 7251 3801
Email: alastair.elwen@finsbury.com

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Cignal announces refinance and expansion of financing facility to €65m

InfraVia

Funds will support portfolio development and expansion of tower network
• Bank of Ireland leads lenders alongside AIB
• Backed by infrastructure investor Infravia Capital Partners

Cignal, Ireland’s fastest growing provider of telecommunications infrastructure, has today announced it has refinanced and expanded its financing facility, which will provide funding to support the expansion of its network of telecoms and broadband communications towers.

Cignal’s acquisition of Coillte’s tower portfolio in 2015 was supported by an initial €31.5m facility. This is now being refinanced and expanded to €65m, providing additional funding to be invested in new telecoms and broadband communications towers to address coverage blackspots throughout Ireland.
Bank of Ireland, who have been a lender to Cignal since the company was set up in 2015, acted as lead arranger for the new facilities along with AIB who are now a joint lender to the business.
Cignal recently announced that it had spent €15m on acquiring and building new telecoms and broadband communications towers in the past 18 months, giving it a portfolio in over 500 key locations across urban and rural Ireland.

Cignal’s CEO Colin Cunningham said:
“We are very pleased to have refinanced and enlarged our banking facility to ensure that we have capital to support our expansion plans. Having invested €15m in acquisitions and new tower developments in the past 18 months, the new bank facility will support the next phase in our growth plans’’

Cignal’s Chairman Donal O’Shaughnessy said:
‘’This development shows our commitment to provide valuable infrastructure to help provide telecoms and broadband services to local communities. The support shown by both Bank of Ireland and AIB has provided us with a flexible and enlarged facility thus ensuring we can continue to build telecoms infrastructure in the areas where it is needed most.’’
Maurice Healy, Director, Corporate Banking, Bank of Ireland said
“Lending to high quality Irish infrastructure assets is an attractive proposition and we are delighted to act as lead arranger in this enlarged lending facility for Cignal. Given the clear demand for enhanced and expanded mobile and broadband coverage across Ireland we are very comfortable with the expansion plans that Cignal have outlined to us, which will help improve coverage and speeds for mobile and broadband users across Ireland.”
The refinancing has been supported by its majority shareholder Infravia Capital Partners, a specialist infrastructure investor managing over €4bn in assets. In Ireland Infravia has acquired hospital group the Mater Private and nursing homes operator CareChoice.

Infravia Partner, Bruno Candes said:
“Infravia Capital Partners are delighted that these new facilities are now in place to support the continued growth trajectory of Cignal since we invested to support the Coillte transaction in 2015. The Cignal team have a clear roadmap to build its portfolio of towers and Infravia and both Bank of Ireland and AIB have shown their commitment to supporting this expansion”

Cignal now has 18% of the Irish market for infrastructure supporting mobile, fixed wireless broadband communications and broadcast services, with a customer base that includes all the main mobile services providers in Ireland, the emergency services and FM radio stations. Cignal is committed to further investment in the construction of new towers, and acquisitions as the market continues to consolidate.

For further information, please contact:
• Doug Keatinge, Murray, +353-1-4980379 / +353-86-0374163 / dkeatinge@murraygroup.ie

About Cignal
Cignal is Ireland’s newest provider of telecommunications infrastructure. It launched its business in 2015 with the acquisition of a portfolio of 400 tower from Irish state forestry company Coillte, and through further acquisitions and expansion now has a portfolio of over 500 towers. Cignal specialises in maximising the efficient use of tower infrastructure through hosting the equipment of multiple operators on its sites, thereby reducing costs for users and reducing the proliferation of unnecessary towers. Cignal’s main shareholders are specialist infrastructure investor Infravia Capital Partners and telecoms infrastructure veteran Donal O’Shaughnessy who also serves as Chairman of the company. The company has ambitious plans for further investment to expand its network and improve mobile and broadband coverage throughout Ireland in areas poorly served today. www.cignal.ie

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EQT to sell offshore communication infrastructure provider Tampnet

eqt

  • EQT Infrastructure to sell offshore communication infrastructure provider Tampnet, owner and operator of the world’s largest offshore fiber-backed communication infrastructure network, to 3i Infrastructure plc and ATP
  • During EQT ownership, Tampnet has grown significantly with revenues and EBITDA increasing more than threefold, the number of employees increasing twentyfold, while at the same time successfully closing and integrating strategic acquisitions and investing in offshore communication infrastructure within existing and new offshore regions
  • Network infrastructure expansion achieved with more than 1,700km of fiber and over 60 4G/LTE base stations added to the network across multiple countries and offshore regions, delivering high capacity services and enabling digitization of the oil&gas and offshore industries

The EQT Infrastructure I and EQT Infrastructure II funds (together “EQT Infrastructure”) have entered into a definitive agreement to sell Tampnet AS (“Tampnet”) to 3i Infrastructure plc, a listed long-term investor in infrastructure businesses and assets, and ATP, Denmark’s largest pension provider.

Tampnet was acquired by EQT Infrastructure in November 2012 and is the only independent owner, operator and provider of high capacity, low latency offshore communication infrastructure. The strategy has revolved around investing to drive development of the offshore fiber-backed communication infrastructure network and roll-out new low latency wireless communication (4G/LTE) to enable digitization and remote operations of the oil and gas industry and expand Tampnet’s business model geographically.

Per Helge Svensson, CEO of Tampnet, comments: “Together with EQT, Tampnet has been able to invest significantly to build a world-class organization while expanding its offshore infrastructure communication network into new geographies. We continue to see strong demand for our services, largely driven by the digitization of the oil and gas industry and the essentiality of robust communication infrastructure, and look forward to entering the next phase of growth together with our new owners.”

Masoud Homayoun, Partner at EQT Partners, Investment Advisor to EQT Infrastructure, adds: “Since 2012, Tampnet has undergone an extraordinary transformation to become the largest global independent owner and operator of offshore fiber-backed communication infrastructure. Management and the entire Tampnet team have done a fantastic job. With the ever-increasing demand for connectivity and data bandwidth driven by digitization in the offshore industry, Tampnet continues to be well positioned to grow and serve its customers with superior services.”

During EQT Infrastructure´s ownership, Tampnet successfully entered its second offshore region in the Gulf of Mexico and expanded its existing network in the North Sea into several new offshore areas. Several new services were launched, and three strategic add-ons acquisitions were successfully completed and integrated. With these initiatives, Tampnet has grown more than threefold in revenues and EBITDA from 2012 to 2018.

The sale is conditional on customary approvals from governmental and regulatory bodies in several jurisdictions, including the Federal Communications Commission in the US, and is expected to close in 2019.

EQT Infrastructure has been advised by Citigroup Inc. (M&A), Advokatfirmaet Selmer AS and Vinson & Elkins LLP (Legal).

Contacts
Masoud Homayoun, Partner at EQT Partners, Investment Advisor to EQT Infrastructure, +46 8 506 55 348
EQT Press Contact, +46 8 506 55 334

About EQT
EQT is a leading investment firm with approximately EUR 50 billion in raised capital across 27 funds. EQT funds have portfolio companies in Europe, Asia and the US with total sales of more than EUR 19 billion and approximately 110,000 employees. EQT works with portfolio companies to achieve sustainable growth, operational excellence and market leadership.

More info: www.eqtpartners.com

About Tampnet
Tampnet is the only independent supplier of high capacity and low latency communication to offshore installations in the North Sea and the Gulf of Mexico. The company operates the world’s largest offshore fiber-backed communication infrastructure network, serving more than 300 oil and gas platforms, units, FPSO’s and exploration rigs.

More info: www.tampnet.com

About 3i Infrastructure plc
3i Infrastructure plc is a Jersey-incorporated, closed-ended investment company, listed on the London Stock Exchange and regulated by the Jersey Financial Services Commission. The Company is a long-term investor in infrastructure businesses and assets. The Company’s market focus is on economic infrastructure and greenfield projects in developed economies, principally in Europe, investing in operating businesses and projects which generate long-term yield and capital growth.

3i Investments plc, a wholly-owned subsidiary of 3i Group plc, is authorised and regulated in the UK by the Financial Conduct Authority and acts as Investment Adviser to 3i Infrastructure plc.

More info: www.3i-infrastructure.com

About ATP Group
ATP is Denmark’s largest pension and social security provider and one of Europe’s largest pension providers, with more than €100 billion assets under management invested in bonds, equities, real estate and infrastructure assets, among others. In recent years, ATP has made significant investments in vital infrastructure such as the Copenhagen Airport, the renewable energy company DONG Energy, now Orsted as well as the telecommunication company TDC.

ATP also administers key welfare benefits and schemes on behalf of the Danish state, the local authorities in Denmark and the social partners. ATP is the largest administration provider in the Nordic countries, managing two thirds of welfare benefits disbursed in Denmark.

More info: https://www.atp.dk/

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