R3 billion fibre expansion plan to cover 300 000 homes

African Infrastructure Investment Managers (AIIM), one of Africa’s largest infrastructure-focused private equity fund managers, has acquired a minority equity stake in MetroFibre, a South African open access fibre network operator.

AIIM’s investment forms part of a R 1.5 billion equity funding to support MetroFibre’s capital expansion plan which exceeds ZAR 3 billion over the coming three years and will further enhance the company’s empowerment positioning.

Existing shareholder STOA, a foreign investment vehicle based in France, is providing incremental funding as part of the transaction together with new investment by the founders of the South African Housing & Infrastructure Fund (SAHIF), Rali Mampeule and Kameel Keshav.

The transaction sees AIIM, STOA and SAHIF partner with remaining shareholders of MetroFibre, including Sanlam Private Equity and African Rainbow Capital.

MetroFibre, which was launched in 2010, is a high-growth player in South Africa’s Fibre-To-The-Home (“FTTH”) and Fibre-To-The-Business (“FTTB”) markets.

Over the last 10 years, MetroFibre has expanded its service offering to both residential and corporate customers in line with its strategic objective of being a diversified operator.

MetroFibre owns and manages its core network which is a globally compliant Carrier Ethernet 2.0 open access network.

AIIM’s investment will support MetroFibre’s plans to densify its network in existing areas and expand its offering to an additional 300 000 residential homes across cities and towns nationwide over the next three years.

MetroFibre CEO, Steve Booysen, added: “The successful capital raise will enable MetroFibre to continue with its growth strategy and explore acquisition opportunities, connecting customers with the global economy through a reliable and fast connection.

In addition to our organic growth plan, the successful capital raise ensures that MetroFibre is well placed to play a leading role in the sector’s consolidation process, given our strong leadership and operational teams, as well as significant shareholders of reference.”

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