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Vauban Infrastructure Partners has invested in a joint venture with Bouygues Telecom to bring fibre-based networks to homes across France in mid-dense areas. Vauban IP, an affiliate of Natixis Investment Managers, has a 51% stake in the joint venture, with Bouygues Telecom holding the other 49%.

The partnership will give Bouygues Telecom the right to access to Orange’s fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) network in medium-density population areas in France over the next 30 years. The joint venture will invest more than a billion euros of debt and equity in the project over the next four years.

Credit Agricole CIB, which advised Vauban IP in the deal, has fully underwritten the debt package. The early stage syndication process with the banks and institutional investors who provided their support from the early stage of the transaction has led to the successful placement of the long term bond tranche in the beginning of July. Some limited remaining amounts of bank debt tranche will be syndicated during July.

The project falls within France’s Très Haut Débit scheme, a government initiative launched in 2013 to roll out superfast broadband in all areas of France. Vauban IP and Bouygues Telecom have previously invested jointly in FTTH networks in densely populated areas across the country in late 2018 with CityFast, which has a network covering 3.4m plugs.

Vauban IP has invested in FTTH infrastructure in rural areas with Axione, the wholesale operator they co-own with Bouygues Energie & Services, and which provide services to rural areas. 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.

To address the challenge of local digitalisation in France, Vauban Infrastructure Partners (“Vauban IP”) and Axione have announced the launch of Vauban Infra Fibre by end of June. The new platform 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.

Axione and Vauban IP have won further broadband Délégation de Service Public (DSP) contracts and are currently closing the Loire Atlantique FTTH Broadband concession, a scheme to outsource the financing, design and establishment of a very high-speed optical fibre electronic communications network in the south-west of France.

For further reading:
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
www.vauban-ip.com

Natixis Investment Managers
RCS Paris 453 952 681
Share Capital: €178 251 690
43 avenue Pierre Mendès France
75013 Paris
www.im.natixis.com

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.