Fibre frenzy gathers pace as InfraBridge eyes merger of UK arm

Fibre frenzy gathers pace as InfraBridge eyes merger of UK arm
Fibre frenzy gathers pace as InfraBridge eyes merger of UK arm 20 July 2023 08:33 AM: Two of Britain's army of 'altnet' broadband infrastructure builders are in talks about a tie-up amid a wave of pressure to consolidate the fragmented industry.

Sky News understands that VX Fiber, which is owned by InfraBridge, and Freedom Fibre, which is backed by the infrastructure investor Equitix, have been holding exploratory talks about a deal.

Industry sources said on Thursday that the discussions were at an early stage and might not lead to a deal.

VX Fiber is said to be working with bankers on options for its UK business, which has been behind the construction of a full-fibre network in Stoke-on-Trent.

Freedom Fibre, which supplies tens of thousands of homes in Cheshire and Greater Manchester, is understood to be one of several parties to have been engaged in talks with VX.

The potential combination comes as a deluge of players in the altnet sector seek new funding or to achieve greater scale through consolidation.

Airband Community Internet, which serves counties including Devon, Shropshire and Oxfordshire, has been working on a recapitalisation, while Broadway Partners, a rural network builder in Scotland and Wales, was recently forced to call in administrators.

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Other fibre network builders which have sought new investment or buyers in recent months include Trooli, another mid-sized entrant.

The market is dominated by BT's Openreach division, but also includes large competitors such as CityFibre Holdings, and a joint venture established by Virgin Media O2's owners.


VX Fiber and Freedom Fibre have both been contacted for comment.

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