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Macquarie makes hefty debt commitment into Ireland’s $705m fibre roll out

Investment adds to the more than $455 million invested by Macquarie Asset Management into Europe’s digital infrastructure since July 2020.

By João Marques Lima

Founder and Editor, The Tech Capital

3 Mins

November 16, 2021 | 2:00 AM GMT

Macquarie makes hefty debt commitment into Ireland’s $705m fibre roll out

John Keaney, CEO of SIRO. Source: SIRO

Macquarie Asset Management, part of the Macquarie Group (ASX:MQG), has finalised a €125 million (US$142.2 million) debt investment with SIRO to help finance the expansion of its ultrafast broadband network in Ireland.

The tranche represented the largest institutional component of the €620 million ($705.6 million) debt financing package arranged by NatWest.

SIRO is a broadband network operator, with a fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) network passing approximately 410,000 homes and businesses.

Utilising the electricity network infrastructure provided by ESB Networks, SIRO plans to expand its wholesale-only fibre network to reach approximately 770,000 premises across more than 150 regional towns and cities by 2026.

The term loan provided by Macquarie Asset Management’s institutional clients will be used by SIRO to refinance existing debt and fund the remainder of its expansion programme.

Tom van Rijsewijk, Managing Director at Macquarie Asset Management, said: “The pandemic has brought into sharp focus the urgent need that exists to transform our telecommunications infrastructure to facilitate the increasing digitisation of our economy and society.

“We are proud to be supporting SIRO as it invests to develop and expand its fibre-to-the-home network, enabling hundreds of thousands more homes and businesses across Ireland to access the benefits of ultrafast broadband.”

John Keaney, CEO of SIRO, added: “SIRO is excited to be announcing the next phase of our fibre-to-the-home network roll-out. It marks a significant chapter in our development and responds to the continued strong demand in the Irish market for reliable and resilient future-proofed fibre broadband. We are pleased to have Macquarie Asset Management supporting our expansion as one of our funding partners.

“Our fibre broadband network is currently available to 410,000 homes and businesses across Ireland. As part of this next phase, we will increase our network reach by over 70%.  This will enable many more Irish homes and businesses to access high-quality, high-speed broadband to support how they now live and work.”

Macquarie Asset Management is partnering with businesses throughout Europe to finance the development and upgrade of digital infrastructure.

Since the second half of last year, its private credit team has made more than €400 million ($455.2 million) in debt investments on behalf of its institutional clients to support data centre and fibre infrastructure businesses across six European countries.

This includes a £73 million ($98 million) investment last year to support Vantage Data Centers’ acquisition of Next Generation Data, Europe’s largest data centre campus.

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João Marques Lima

Founder and Editor, The Tech Capital

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