London, 06 November 2019
Macquarie Capital, the arm of Macquarie Group (Macquarie) specialised in project development and construction across the infrastructure and energy sectors, and Aberdeen Standard Investments (Aberdeen) have today announced that they have signed an agreement with MasMovil Broadband, S.A.U. and MasMovil Ibercom, S.A. (jointly MasMovil) to acquire a c. 940,000 building units Fibre-to-the-Home network in Spain. MasMovil is Spain’s fourth largest telecoms operator.
The network currently provides bitstream1 services across five of Spain’s largest cities and their metropolitan areas, in Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Seville and Malaga. MasMovil, with its strong client base in the network, will be the first major customer of the network.
The new business will operate as an independent wholesaler providing capacity to internet service providers (ISPs) looking to supply broadband to homes and businesses initially in these five cities and their metropolitan areas. MasMovil have signed a long term agreement outlining a minimum volume commitment with the new network as part of the sale of the network.
Currently, the fibre optic network deployed in Spain is the widest in Europe, covering more than 75 per cent of the population2. However, around 89 per cent of fixed broadband lines are currently provided by just three main operators3.
This new wholesale network will create an alternative source of fibre capacity for large operators with no infrastructure in the areas covered by the network and smaller broadband businesses. This should enable these challenger ISPs to reach more customers, increasing competition and price transparency in the Spanish market.
Mark Bradshaw, Head of Infrastructure Projects, Europe & Americas at Macquarie Capital said: “This deal will further open up the Spanish broadband market, creating more competition amongst retailers and encouraging more people to upgrade their broadband access. By applying Macquarie’s expertise as global infrastructure developers and flexible balance sheet capital, our role will be to enable the company’s growth through the next stages of its development.”
Commenting on this development Gershon Cohen, Global Head of Infrastructure at Aberdeen Standard Investments, said: “We are delighted to support this significant investment opportunity in the Spanish fibre network. By investing in critical fibre projects we aim to improve business and people connectivity which should have a positive impact on the economy. It also allows us to expand our commitment to seek long term stable returns for our investors. We see significant opportunities working with our industrial and financial partners for deploying institutional capital in essential social infrastructure having made over 120 infrastructure investments globally.”
The CEO of the new entity will be Jose Antonio Vazquez Blanco, with more than 18 years’ experience working in the Spanish telecom market for Orange, Nokia and Euskaltel. He will play a key role in bringing on other internet service providers (ISPs), telecom carriers or corporate partners as well as overseeing the ongoing build out of the network.
Jose Antonio Vazquez Blanco said: “We are bringing the Spanish market a disruptive telecom proposal, an independent fibre operator that will create growth opportunities for traditional telecoms players and new partners coming from other ecosystems, interested in having access to a secure, flexible and first quality broadband proposal.”
Macquarie Capital specialises in infrastructure development with £18 billion currently under construction or development globally. Macquarie Capital’s expertise in advancing and developing early stage infrastructure projects is increasingly being applied into the digital space. Over the past 18 months, the business has invested to increase its expertise in the digital infrastructure sector and has now made a number of digital acquisitions and investments in the UK, such as Voneus, and elsewhere.
Macquarie has operated in the Europe for 30 years, first opening its London headquarters in 1989. Macquarie Capital has been building its presence in Spain since 2010, investing and advising on transactions in the infrastructure sector and working in partnership with our Spanish clients around the world. In 2016, the business acted as investor, capital arranger and exclusive financial adviser on the acquisition of a circa 50 per cent stake in the Malaga Metro PPP.