Swedish investment group EQT, via EQT Infrastructure III Fund, has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Dutch regional cable and fibre network operator CIF Holding (CAIW) from Rabo Bouwfonds Communication Infrastructure Fund. CAIW owns and operates a FTTx and HFC (coaxial) network connecting more than 350,000 households, generating sales of EUR112 million (USD132 million) in 2016; triple-play services are offered over the network under the Caiway brand via CAIW Diensten (CAIW Services), a wholly owned subsidiary of CAIW. The deal expands EQT’s presence in the Netherlands following its purchase of cableco DELTA in March this year.
EQT Infrastructure says it will invest in the continued development of CAIW’s growth strategy while strengthening its market position and exploring opportunities to expand its existing fibre network. Joost Goderie, Senior Managing Partner at Rabo Bouwfonds Communication Infrastructure Fund, said: ‘With support of institutional investors, we have developed large-scale fibre networks in different areas of the Netherlands. We are especially proud that CAIW successfully rolled out optical fibre to municipalities and households in rural areas. Welcoming EQT Infrastructure as the new investor will guarantee continuity of CAIW’s services and shape the ambitions for the future.’
EQT Infrastructure intends to include CAIW in the same holding as DELTA and the new group management structure will oversee all activities related to both CAIW and DELTA, headed by Marco Visser, current CEO of DELTA. The transaction is subject to customary conditions, such as completion of a works council consultation procedure and approval from telecoms regulator Authority for Consumers & Markets (ACM). The parties have agreed not to disclose financial details related to the transaction, which is expected to close before the end of 2017.