Australian financial services business Macquarie Asset Management (ASX: MQG) said it has finalised an agreement with Enel to acquire a 40% equity interest in Open Fiber for €2.12 billion (US$2.51 billion).
Open Fiber operates Italy’s largest fibre-to-the-home network, with more than 12 million households passed in more than 180 urban centres and more than 2,300 rural municipalities across the country.
The Macquarie Group Ltd’s asset management division will partner with CDP Equity which will own the remaining 60% equity interest in Open Fiber following the completion of the sale of Enel’s entire stake in the business.
Jiri Zrust, senior managing director at Macquarie Asset Management, said: “Enhancing access to reliable, ultrafast broadband is key if households and businesses across Italy are to harness the significant opportunities presented by a more connected society and economy.
“We look forward to supporting the delivery of Italy’s next-generation digital infrastructure through our investment in Open Fiber, partnering with its talented workforce and CDP Equity to deliver first class, open-access network infrastructure across Italy.”
Macquarie Asset Management is investing to support the roll out of high-capacity digital infrastructure networks around the world.
In Europe, its managed funds are increasing ultrafast broadband connectivity across the UK, Denmark, and Poland through investments in KCOM, TDC Group, and INEA.
Macquarie Asset Management has been investing in Italy since 2002. During that time, Macquarie-managed funds have supported the development and operation of infrastructure essential to the Italian economy through investments in Hydro Dolomiti Energia, Società Gasdotti Italia, Renvico, and Aeroporti di Roma. In June, Macquarie-managed funds agreed to acquire 88% of Autostrade per l’Italia in a consortium with CDP Equity and Blackstone Infrastructure Partners.
Completion of the transaction is expected in Q4 2021, subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions and the receipt of necessary approvals from the Presidency of Italy’s Council of Ministers and the European Commission Competition Authority.