The COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences have, in many ways, led to economic upheaval. It has reminded us of the key role that digital technology and its applications play in maintaining the continuity of our economic and social lives. Digital infrastructure is essential for ensuring this continuity across as many local communities as possible. It provides individuals and businesses with equal access to digital tools which contribute to resilience, innovation and economic development.
The digitalisation of communities is a major challenge, ranking among the priorities set out by the French government in its economic recovery plan. Vauban IP managed investment funds, with strong historic presence in infrastructure financing, and Axione, a pioneer in digital development, have joined forces to create Vauban Infra Fibre, a platform that will consolidate existing and under roll-out digital infrastructure across France, in both urban and rural communities, as well as in medium dense areas.
Vauban Infra Fibre’s unique, global offering sets it apart. As a shared infrastructure platform, it is open to all operators. This is what has made the French model a success: a single infrastructure available to all operators, in order to maximise digital coverage at national level. Its large scale development targets a total of 11 million FFTH plugs in the next two years. This major project involves a €6 billion investment plan of which €4.3 billion has already been committed, a clear translation of Vauban IP and Axione’s interest in this strategic sector with a promising future.
Vauban IP and Axione have worked together in the past to successfully finance and roll out numerous digital networks. They were pioneers in the Public Initiative Networks market following the launch of the first generation (ADSL technology) concessions almost ten years ago. The success of their partnership resides first and foremost in a shared philosophy: investing in developing essential infrastructure for local development which in turn allows them to expand the ranges of useful services available to all, while taking account of the interests of all stakeholders.
Gwenola Chambon, CEO of Vauban Infrastructure Partners, commented: “Digital infrastructure has become essential for local communities. Our role as investors is to help local authorities seize this opportunity for development. By setting up this national platform – Vauban Infra Fibre – we are helping to channel the long-term resources of institutional investors, making them available for the real economy with a positive and sustainable impact. This large-scale project is fully aligned with our strategy as active and responsible investor and fits our ambition to finance infrastructure essential to the development of local communities”.
Eric Jammaron, CEO of Axione, added: “Vauban Infra Fibre is the manifestation of a common conviction, that digital infrastructures make it possible to address an increasingly essential need. This initiative will only accelerate and strengthen our primary vocation, giving access to high-performance digital services, everywhere and to everyone”.
For further reading:
- European Broadband Networks
- Mirova and its partners awarded at the 2016 PFI Awards
- Ostrum Finances Major Broadband Initiative in Germany
- Infrastructure: Let’s Get Personal
Vauban Infrastructure Partners is a leading Infrastructure Asset Manager focused on the European core infrastructure investments. Based in Paris & Luxembourg, it employs 35 professionals working together since a decade. Vauban targets predominantly brownfield midmarket sustainable investments pursuing a long-term yield driven strategy matching the underlying nature of assets and long-term commitment to all stakeholders’ interest through a strong focus on creating sustainable value. Vauban has raised €3.0 billion across 5 funds in Core infrastructure from over 40 investors within 10 different countries; and has realized over 50 investments in transport, utilities, social & digital infrastructure across 8 different geographies.
Axione, a subsidiary of Bouygues Energies & Services and Vauban Infrastructure Partners, is a major player in digital infrastructure and a leading partner of the French government’s very-high-speed Internet roll-out plan. As a committed partner of the Plan France Très Haut Débit, Axione designs, builds, finances and operates new-generation digital infrastructures (FTTH, 4G, etc.) on its own behalf and on behalf of local authorities or service operators. Axione operates in all French regions (very dense areas and less dense areas) and offers telecom operators HSBB access services for their subscribers by pooling its digital infrastructures, open and accessible to all. More than 150 operators use the networks operated by Axione. Axione is a leading player in digital infrastructures with more than 2,300 employees.
Vauban Infrastructure Partners
Affiliate of Natixis Investment Managers
Société en Commandite par Actions – Limited Partnership by shares
Share capital : €10 076 680.20
Regulated by the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF) under n° GP – 19000044
RCS Paris 833 488 778
115 Rue Montmartre
Natixis Investment Managers
RCS Paris 453 952 681
Share Capital: €178 251 690
43 avenue Pierre Mendès France
This communication is for information only and is intended for investment service providers or other Professional Clients. The analyses and opinions referenced herein represent the subjective views of the author as referenced unless stated otherwise and are subject to change. There can be no assurance that developments will transpire as may be forecasted in this material.