Gowling WLG client Hyperoptic has secured an investment of £21 million from the European Investment Bank (EIB) to help it provide 1 Gbps fibre broadband to more than half a million homes across the UK.
EIB's investment comes alongside that of Quantum Strategic Partners Limited, a private investment fund managed by Soros Fund Management LLC, and brings the total amount invested in Hyperoptic and fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) broadband to £75 million.
Gowling WLG's advisers were led by banking and finance partner Chris Brierley. Principal associate Navin Prabhakar also worked on the deal. They drew on their existing experience on advising borrowers from the EIB and were able to provide commercially-focused advice while understanding the EIB's requirements.
Partner Chris Brierley said: "It's been a pleasure to work with Hyperoptic on such a great investment, not only for them, but for the people who will benefit from getting superfast broadband. The EIB's investment is for eight years, and during that time Hyperoptic will bring its enhanced broadband connections to urban areas that only have slow access at the moment."
The investment not only confirms Hyperoptic's business model as a viable and successful one, but it helps the business retain its standing as the largest 1 Gbps FTTP broadband provider in the UK. The investment allows Hyperoptic to service even more residential and business users and the investment is the largest dedicated funding of an internet network by the EIB in the UK.
Gowling WLG's Banking and Finance team has advised a number of borrowers on loans from the EIB including Sanctuary Housing Association on its £350 million facility (the biggest direct loan from the EIB into the social housing sector), and Gigaclear plc on its funding to extend its rural broadband infrastructure.
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Gowling WLG's Banking and Finance team advises many of the world's leading banks, financial institutions and major corporate clients, including HSBC, Bank of America, BNP Paribas, Deutsche Bank, RBS, EIB, Santander, Handelsbanken and Bank of Ireland.