The rapid digitalization of the society requires high-capacity fiber networks to match the needs of businesses and consumers. The recently concluded refinancing by leading fiber network provider GlobalConnect Group testifies to a strong appetite among banks and institutional investors to contribute.
In a refinancing closed on June 17, a consortium of five Active Bookrunners, three Underwriters and six Cornerstone Lenders coordinated by ING and SEB, committed Senior Debt Facilities to leading fiber network provider GlobalConnect Group of a total of EUR 2.7 billion. CFO Henrik Schibler, says the successful refinancing testifies to a strong belief in the potential of GlobalConnect Group to pursue the strategy of rapid expansion and fiber roll out in Northern Europe.
“This is one of the largest infra-debt refinancings in 2021 secured by a privately held company in the Nordics. The refinancing allows us to continue pursuing a growth journey fueled by a strong ambition to expand our footprint in existing markets, and exploring new markets in Northern Europe,” he says and adds: “The expansion of high-capacity digital infrastructure allows businesses, households, and the public sector to reap the full advantage of digitalization. We are proud to be a part of that.”
Commenting on the successful refinancing, Schibler says: “Available liquidity and appetite for this transaction has been larger than anticipated, driven by strong global infra-debt markets and the highly attractive credit profile of GlobalConnect – and as a result leading to very attractive financing terms.”
“Challenge complicated business models”
As the major competitor to incumbent national operators in Northern Europe, GlobalConnect Group aims to stand out by delivering the highest customer value: “With a truly customer-centric approach, we are now ready to increase our market share, by challenging an industry that for far too long has gotten away with dated and complicated business models”.
Social distancing and working from home in the wake of COVID-19 has boosted demand for a reliable digital infrastructure across Europe and, consequently, GlobalConnect witnessed continued growth over the past year: “In 2020 we saw a rapid demand for stable, secure and fast broadband. The lockdown we faced as a result of the pandemic shed light on the importance of connectivity; for maintaining social relations and entertainment, as well as working from home, medical care and homeschooling. The high demand and our improved fiber rollout efficiency made 2020 a record-breaking year,” says CEO Martin Lippert and adds, “As many industries were slowed down by the effects of COVID-19, GlobalConnect managed to maintain stable operational efficiency, while growing within both its business areas, B2B and B2C.”
GlobalConnect’s consumer business broke new grounds and new records in 2020, connecting an all-time high of 61k homes in Sweden and 15k homes in Norway, while successfully getting its Danish B2C business up and running, rolling out fiber in three Danish cities in its first operating year.
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* Active Bookrunners: ABN AMRO, ING, Santander, SEB and Société Générale; Underwriters: KFW IPEX-Bank, NatWest and Nykredit Bank; Cornerstone Lenders: BNP Paribas, CDPQ, Crédit Agricole CIB, Deutsche Bank, National Australia Bank and Nordea