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And the largest ultra-broadband network in Europe is in ... Italy!

21/01/2019

The Italian telecom player Open Fiber is rolling out a landmark transaction in European fiber projects with total investment in excess of 6 billion € over the coming 6 years.

The project, strongly supported by Open Fiber’s top tiers shareholders (Enel and state-lender CDP Equity), will enable Open Fiber to continue rolling out fiber to c. 20m households both in urban and rural regions and exceed Italian broadband goals.

Leveraging on its state-of-the-art network and demonstrated ability to roll out FttH (“Fibre to the Home”), Open Fiber will offer an extensive range of active and passive network services on a neutral basis to main OLOs (“Other Local Operator”), notably Wind, Vodafone & Sky, effectively becoming the largest wholesale-only fiber operator in the world.

Open Fiber signed an agreement in August 2018 with a pool of more than 10 banks for the jumbo project financing to support this roll out. Societe Generale acted as Financial Advisor on the project and as Underwriter, Global Coordinator, Global Bookrunner, Initial Mandated Lead Arranger and Market Hedge Coordinator of the €3.5bn related debt package.

Thanks to this financing and the support of leading international banks, Open Fiber will be able to continue to make the long-term investments needed to create the next generation network infrastructure for the Gigabit Society.

Elisabetta Ripa
Chief Executive Officer of Open Fiber

More than improving the overall Internet connection in Italy, this deal will have a significant positive impact with the creation of approximately 15,000 jobs directly and indirectly, illustrating Societe Generale’s Responsibility commitment as it will largely contribute to the economic and social growth of Italy.

This strategic and highly visible transaction also demonstrates the fruitful commercial relationship between Open Fiber and Societe Generale, initiated since the beginning of the project.

This transaction was recognized as part of the TMT Finance M&A Awards 2018, winning the TMT Infrastructure Loan of the Year – EMEA award.

Societe Generale has, once again, strengthened its European leading position on optic fiber network. After France, Germany, the UK, Spain, The Nordics, The Netherlands, Societe Generale is now at the forefront of financing the Internet transformation of Italy.

With this strategic roll out, Open Fiber is deeply transforming the Italian broadband connectivity. As the leading European FttH bank, we are proud to support such a positive impact financing, demonstrating once again our expertise in tailor-made jumbo transactions.

Hervé Le Corre and Denis de Paillerets
Global Head of Infrastructure Finance and Global Co-Head of Telecoms, Media & Technology