CityFibre Acquires Lit Fibre, Boosts UK Network Expansion

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In a bold move that underscores its commitment to leading the UK’s fibre optic expansion, CityFibre has acquired Lit Fibre, a smaller but significant player in the market. This strategic acquisition is set to boost CityFibre’s reach by an additional 300,000 premises, signaling a significant step in its quest to become the nation’s third major infrastructure platform, alongside giants like Virgin Media O2 and Openreach.

CityFibre, known for its ambitious growth through previous purchases such as FibreNation and Entanet, views the acquisition of Lit Fibre as a pivotal moment in its expansion plan. The goal is to extend its fibre network to 8 million premises, reinforcing its position in the competitive landscape. Greg Mesch, CityFibre’s CEO, emphasized the importance of establishing a third robust infrastructure platform to foster competition and benefit consumers and the country at large.

Lit Fibre, headquartered in Reading, has made a name for itself by deploying fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) networks in various English locations, particularly between Bristol and Birmingham, with additional networks in Hertfordshire and East Anglia. The technological synergy between the two companies is notable, with both utilizing XGS-PON technology to support speeds up to 10 Gbps.

The deal, celebrated by Lit Fibre’s co-founders, Tom Williams and Ben Bresler, marks a new chapter for the company they started just over three years ago with the ambition to deliver high-quality internet connections across the UK. Their efforts have not only been successful in terms of infrastructure but also in earning a reputation for exceptional quality and customer service.

Owned by the New York-based investment firm Newlight Partners, Lit Fibre’s integration into CityFibre’s operations comes as part of an all-share agreement. This arrangement will see Newlight becoming a minority shareholder in CityFibre, hinting at the strategic importance of the deal valued at approximately £80 million based on CityFibre’s £4 billion valuation.

This acquisition reflects the broader trend in the UK’s fibre market, where consolidation is increasingly viewed as necessary for long-term sustainability. With multiple providers jockeying for position and the challenge of rising costs, strategic mergers and acquisitions like this one are pivotal for shaping the future landscape of UK broadband infrastructure.

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