In a significant development in the telecommunications sphere, Voneus will merge with Broadway Partners, Cadence Networks, and SWS Broadband, courtesy of a collaboration between Macquarie Capital, IIF, and Tiger Infrastructure Partners. This considerable transformation also includes a significant monetary injection of up to £250 million, led by Macquarie Capital.
Voneus specializes in extending superfast broadband connections through fixed wireless access (FWA) and fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) to underserved rural regions in the UK. The company has identified almost 200,000 rural households that could leverage improved technology. This ambitious endeavor, combined with Voneus’ involvement in the UK government’s premier Project Gigabit, has resulted in potent investment attracts over time. Renowned investors Macquarie, in 2019 and 2021, and IIF 2021, are some which significantly contributed. However, Voneus could meet only a fraction of its monumental ambition, covering around 10,000 households in England and Wales, up till now.
The imminent boost presents itself with the amalgamation of Voneus with Cadence Networks and SWS Broadband, two broadband providers under the umbrella of Rural Broadband Solutions Holdings, majorly owned by Tiger Infrastructure Partners. With this deal on the horizon, Tiger Infrastructure positions itself as a significant stakeholder in Voneus.
Along with Cadence Networks and SWS, Voneus also effectively takes over Broadway Partners, a fibre altnet supported by Tiger Infrastructure and Macquarie during its economic hardship. Established in 2016, Broadway initially targeted to empower up to 250,000 homes and businesses by 2025, primarily in rural Scotland and Wales. However, due to climbing costs and soaring interest rates, the company faced financial strain, leading it into administration in May.
Just two weeks ago, speculations circulated about Macquarie and Tiger Infrastructure Partners’ intention to acquire Broadway. This anticipation solidified with the recent formal announcements.
Exact user impact due to these significant mergers remains unclear, although Broadway’s administration filing indicated coverage of approximately 11,000 premises. However, Voneus newly aims to serve around 350,000 premises across the UK, demonstrating the substantial scale of the amalgamation.
Christopher Traggio, CEO of Voneus Broadband, confidently remarked, “This is a very exciting time for Voneus, and for our new partners, shareholders, and the communities we serve.” He acknowledged the shareholders’ support to speed up their rollout plan to make a positive impact in delivering innovative broadband solutions nationwide.
In light of recent rapid growth in the UK’s fibre market, stimulated through positive regulations and government subsidies, the strained economy has prompted cost surge and slowed investment, leading the industry towards inevitable consolidation. This notable consolidation spearheaded by Voneus marks one of the first significant unifications of its kind and potentially not the last.
The ever-growing world of telecommunications poses exciting developments daily. While these substantial mergers present enormous opportunities for Voneus, they also signal a dynamic evolution in the telecommunications sector itself.