NBI announces new long-term investor

13 Jul 2022

Granahan McCourt, the company which controls National Broadband Ireland (NBI), has announced a partnership with Spain-based Asterion Industrial Partners, under which the pair will deliver Ireland’s National Broadband Plan (NBP).

In a press release regarding the matter it was revealed that an agreement has been reached for Asterion to acquire interests in NBI held by Oak Hill Advisors, Twin Point Capital and certain minorities. As per the deal, Asterion and Granahan McCourt will take on all responsibilities and guarantees in accordance with the NBP ‘Project Agreement’ signed with the Irish government. The transaction is subject to ministerial consent and due process, and is expected to close in ‘autumn 2022’. PJT Partners are acting as financial adviser in connection with the deal.

Although financial details of the deal have not been disclosed, local news outlet RTE did report further details regarding the transaction, noting that Asterion will acquire the 80% shareholding in NBI currently owned by Oak Hill Advisors (49%) and Twin Point Capital (25%), as well as minority shareholders. Subsequent to the deal’s completion, it is understood that NBI chairman David McCourt will retain a 6% stake in NBI through Granahan McCourt Capital, while another existing shareholder, Tetrad Corporation, will retain its 13% stake; NBI management owns the remaining shares.

Commenting on the matter, Mr McCourt said: ‘In Asterion, we welcome a hugely respected partner with decades of experience in telecoms infrastructure that will not only help us deliver on this extremely ambitious project, but also bring long term commitment to Ireland, which has always been our stated aim. At Granahan McCourt, we are delighted to be partnering with Asterion, not only in NBI, but with additional investment committed to develop a centre of excellence in Ireland and deliver on our long-term vision to make Ireland globally renowned for telecoms services.’ Winnie Wutte, founding partner of Asterion, added: ‘We are delighted to partner with Granahan McCourt and continue to invest in the development of rural fibre infrastructure with NBI, in one of the most ambitious fibre rollouts in the world, providing access to rural, long term and futureproofed connectivity in Ireland.’

Having established NBI to partner with the Government of Ireland on the NBP, Granahan McCourt has said it remains fully committed to NBI and to delivering high speed broadband to more than 559,000 premises with the rollout of a ‘world-class open-access’ network.

Ireland, National Broadband Ireland (NBI)