Switzerland-based investment firm Partners Group has agreed to acquire a 75% stake in Italian fixed-wireless access (FWA) operator EOLO. Partners Group is buying the entire stake held by Searchlight Capital Partners, as well as part of the interest held by EOLO’s president and founder, Luca Spada. Spada will retain a 25% shareholding. No financial details of the transaction were disclosed in a press release from EOLO, but a report from Reuters cites an unnamed source as saying that the deal valued the operator at around EUR1.2 billion (USD1.4 billion).
Livio Fenati, Managing Director and co-head of Private Infrastructure Europe at Partners Group, said: ‘Fixed-wireless access technology offers a competitive broadband solution to rural and semi-urban areas, thanks to a competitive connection speed, low rollout cost and easy implementation. It will also have a significant positive impact on the Italian rural population by improving the quality of connectivity. Our view aims to increase EOLO’s national leadership position and transform the company into one of the main platforms in Europe for fixed-wireless access broadband.’
EOLO has FWA networks covering around 80% of the Italian population and claims over 600,000 residential and business broadband subscribers. It says it expects to invest EUR850 million by 2025 to expand and densify its FWA and backbone infrastructure.