Gowling WLG secures largest loan of its kind from European Investment Bank to British company Gigaclear

16 August 2016

Gowling WLG has advised fibre broadband provider Gigaclear on the terms of a loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB).

The €25 million committed debt facility from the EIB is the largest awarded to a British company. The investment will enable Gigaclear to treble the size of its broadband network and bring some of the fastest internet speeds to 40,000 properties across rural Britain.

Banking and Finance partner Chris Brierley, who led on the deal, said that: "an estimated 1.5 million properties across Britain could potentially benefit from Gigaclear services, so we're thrilled to have helped Gigaclear reach this landmark stage in their growth. We look forward to working with them as they continue to transform lives and businesses in rural communities."

Chris was assisted by principal associate Navin Prabhaker. The team used its extensive experience advising borrowers on EIB financings in order to achieve the transaction of the loan, which is the maximum available to companies under the 'InnovFin – EU Finance for Innovators' MidCap Growth Finance Scheme.

Simon Bullock, Chief Financial Officer at Gigaclear said of Gowling WLG's role that: "delivering the best broadband in the UK required the best corporate and legal support; Gowling WLG continues to play a key role in delivering our strategy". He then went on to praise the team's "in depth understanding of our business and long term plans, as well as an understanding of the EIB's approach, which was crucial to this transaction closing successfully."

Gowling WLG Equity Capital Markets partner Jeffrey Elway continues to work with Gigaclear on other fundraisings, having previously advised on investments from Prudential and Woodford.

The investment by EIB into Gigaclear is a landmark figure in Gigalcear's expansion plans, enabling it to reach rural areas previously out of its range.

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