BCLP has advised Macquarie Capital, the corporate advisory, capital markets and principal investment arm of the Macquarie Group (Macquarie), on its investment in rural superfast broadband business Voneus.
Macquarie Capital initially has committed £10 million with the potential to invest £30 million in phases. Proceeds will be used to refinance debt and support the company’s roll-out of full fiber broadband to rural homes in the UK. Only 5 percent of UK homes have access to full fiber infrastructure. Voneus will focus on the up to 900,000 homes across the UK countryside that still do not have access to superfast broadband services.
Since its establishment in 2015, Voneus has installed superfast broadband in around 4,000 homes and businesses in 25 rural communities with a footprint that covers Lancashire and Yorkshire as well as the Cotswolds and Devon. The business has a robust pipeline of future projects which will be supported by ongoing investment from Macquarie Capital.
BCLP advised Macquarie Capital on all legal aspects of the transaction including due diligence, the equity and debt documentation, the refinancing of the company’s existing debt, the buy-out of the equity interests held by the company’s existing lender, and new service agreements and shareholder arrangements with management and other shareholders.
Oliver Bradley, managing director, who led the transaction for Macquarie Capital said: “The roll-out of superfast and ultrafast broadband has too often focused on the UK’s urban centers – leaving untapped investment requirements in the UK’s rural communities. We believe that using Macquarie Capital’s unique principal investment and development expertise there is a significant opportunity to work with Voneus to accelerate the deployment of UK rural broadband, this will help unlock significant economic and social benefits for the UK.”
The multidisciplinary BCLP team was led by M&A and Corporate Finance Partner Patrick Johnson and Technology & Commercial Partner Usman Wahid, assisted principally by Scarlett Evans, Tom Shaw and Bethany Cook. Finance Partner Shanan Dunstan and Senior Associate Kyle Johnson led on the debt documentation and refinancing.