High-speed broadband for all
Societe Generale is partnering with Covage to bring fibre optics to Savoie
In France, many regions still lack a good Internet connection. To address this problem, the French state launched the Very High-Speed Plan that notably foresees AMEL (call to indicate local commitments), which allows local authorities to seek private investments from operators in order to accelerate the digital coverage of their region.
It is within this framework that Covage, leader in France of fibre operators, announced the setting up of innovative financing launched by the Savoie departement for the deployment of the Savoie Connectée network to deploy 255,000 sockets across 243 of the departement's municipalities by the end of 2023.
Innovative financing in the AMEL zone
Societe Generale has worked with Covage and Orange to design a financing tool that is totally suited to the specificities of Savoie Connectée, which is thus the first fibre project in the AMEL zone to be funded through project financing in France. The non-recourse debt of 252.3 million euros enables the project's financing to be diversified and optimised. The long-term credit is structured in the form of a variable-rate tranche of 122.3 million euros with a maturity of 22 years and a fixed-rate tranche of 130 million euros with a maturity of 25 years. The entire debt was subscribed and arranged by Societe Generale.
"We are pleased to be able to again count on the trust and expertise of Societe Generale, which is assisting us with one of the largest fibre project financing operations of recent years", say Covage Chief Financial Officer, Gabriele Mandurino and Financial Development Director, Louis de Rougé.
"Societe Generale has been a major player in the financing of fibre optic projects since 2015, and we are delighted that Covage and Orange have chosen to put their trust in us", comments Denis de Paillerets, Co-Manager for Technologies-Media-Telecom Financing at Societe Generale. Laurent Chabot, Co-Manager for Infrastructure Financing, concludes "We are proud to be involved in this innovative project via which the Bank will undertake two of its key missions: financing of the economy and regional development".