Sweden’s EQT acquires German fibre network company inexio for reported €1bn

Created October 1, 2019
News and Business

Swedish infrastructure investor EQT has agreed to acquire a majority stake in German fibre network company inexio. The deal involves EQT buying the shares of Warburg Pincus, the 59.45% inexio majority shareholder, and Deutsche Beteiligungs AG. No price was given for the transaction, but media speculation has put it at around €1 billion.

inexio was founded by David Zimmer in 2007 and has invested heavily in fibre infrastructure in rural and small-town communities in Germany, predominantly in the southwestern and southern parts of the country. Today, the company provides high-speed Internet access to more than 300,000 households and 6,000 businesses. inexio’s scalable network, consists of more than 10,000 km of fibre optic infrastructure. The company also operates wholly owned datacentres.

Looking ahead, the founder-led management team of inexio plans to continue the rapid growth of the company by pursuing the large-scale deployment of FTTH Internet access in rural Germany. In January 2019, CEO of inexio Zimmer set an ambitious new growth target for the company. By 2030, inexio intends to reach around 2 million households with fibre optic connections.

With EQT, inexio believes it has now found a new partner to realise this goal. “Achieving our growth target requires investments of around €5 billion,” commented Zimmer. “In the course of exploring the capital market with a view to a capital increase, a situation has arisen which is advantageous for all players. The takeover of the majority stake by EQT gives us the backing for our growth.”

“We are delighted about the opportunity to invest in inexio. We are impressed by the growth the team around David Zimmer has achieved over the past ten years,” added Matthias Fackler, Partner at EQT Partners and Investment Advisor to EQT Infrastructure. “The strong need for fibre-based Gigabit Internet access in Germany will require substantial investments over the coming years. EQT, as one of the leading fibre investors world-wide, is fully committed to supporting inexio and its management team to embark on this exciting journey while also contributing to making Germany a more digital and connected society.”

The transaction is expected to close in Q4 2019, subject to regulatory approvals. Clifford Chance acted as legal advisor to EQT.

As a footnote, the suggestion has been made that Deutsche Glasfaser , another German FTTH provider and an inexio competitor, may also be mulling the notion of taking new investors onboard.

For more information, visit https://inexio.net/

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This article was written
by John Williamson

John Williamson is a freelance telecommunications, IT and military communications journalist. He has also written for national and international media, and been a telecoms advisor to the World Bank.