Asterion and Granahan McCourt partner to deliver Ireland’s national broadband plan
12th July 2022, IRELAND – Granahan McCourt, the company behind National Broadband Ireland [‘NBI’], is pleased to announce its partnership with Asterion Industrial Partners [‘Asterion’], a pan European long term infrastructure investment manager, to deliver Ireland’s National Broadband Plan.
Agreement has now been reached for Asterion to acquire the interests held by Oak Hill Advisors, Twin Point Capital and certain minorities; this will see Asterion and Granahan McCourt take on all responsibilities and guarantees in accordance with the Project Agreement. Granahan McCourt* and management will retain their current interests in NBI.
Together with the Board, Asterion is aligned, committed, and impressed with the quality of NBI’s Irish management team, including CEO of NBI Infrastructure, Peter Hendrick, and CEO of NBI Deployment, TJ Malone.
Having established NBI to partner with the Government of Ireland on the National Broadband Plan, Granahan McCourt remains fully committed to NBI and to delivering high speed broadband to over 559,000 premises with the rollout of a world-class open-access network. Through a combination of commercial and State led investment, the National Broadband Plan is the biggest investment in rural Ireland since electrification, with NBI laying enough fibre to circle the world nearly four times.
Commenting, David McCourt, chairman and CEO of Granahan McCourt Capital and chairman of NBI, said:
“At NBI, we’re incredibly proud to be bringing world-leading broadband infrastructure to over 1.1 million citizens across rural Ireland, and in doing so, help Ireland be years ahead of the EU’s target of a gigabit society by 2030.
“In Asterion, we welcome a hugely respected partner with decades of experience in telecoms infrastructure that will not only help us deliver on this extremely ambitious project, but also bring long term commitment to Ireland, which has always been our stated aim. At Granahan McCourt, we are delighted to be partnering with Asterion, not only in NBI, but with additional investment committed to develop a centre of excellence in Ireland and deliver on our long-term vision to make Ireland globally renowned for telecoms services.”
Specialising in European infrastructure across telecoms, energy & utilities, and mobility sectors, Asterion combines deep financial experience with respected industry credentials. Asterion is uniquely positioned with a growing portfolio of rural fibre assets across Europe, mirroring its continued commitment to facilitate futureproofed internet access to underserved rural areas. Asterion, using its industrial expertise and active asset management, is committed with Granahan McCourt to continue further development of the NBI network.
Winnie Wutte, founding partner of Asterion, added:
“We are delighted to partner with Granahan McCourt and continue to invest in the development of rural fibre infrastructure with NBI, in one of the most ambitious fibre rollouts in the world, providing access to rural, long term and futureproofed connectivity in Ireland.
“We are also excited and committed to the opportunity of creating a centre of excellence in Ireland in partnership with Granahan McCourt to open up tremendous long-term opportunities in the Irish market and further cement its leadership position in the provision of a gigabit society.”
Musa Sönmez, co-head of Europe & partner at Oak Hill Advisors (OAH), commented:
“Being part of NBI’s story since its inception and helping to establish the business to become one of the finest open-access wholesale providers in the world has been a privilege.
“We are very confident that NBI will continue to go from strength-to-strength and deliver this transformational infrastructure for the people of Ireland. We have been proud to partner with Granahan McCourt with investments in Ireland since 2014, and in that time have invested significant amounts of capital to create what we believe are world-class operations that will have a lasting legacy in Ireland. We hope to continue down this path with Granahan McCourt in future collaborations.”
The transaction is subject to Ministerial consent and due process and is expected to close in Autumn 2022. PJT Partners is acting as financial adviser in connection with the transaction.
*Granahan McCourt is the investment vehicle of Granahan McCourt Capital and Tetrad Corporation.
About Asterion Industrial Partners
Asterion Industrial Partners is an independent investment management firm focusing on infrastructure investments in the European mid-market. Headquartered in Madrid and with presence in London and Paris, Asterion combines transactional and operational experience with an industrial approach and active asset management within an independent and nimble platform. Asterion aims to promote operational transparency, responsible investment practices, best-in-class governance, and a strong culture both for itself and in the companies in which it invests.
National Broadband Ireland (NBI) is designing, building and operating the new high-speed fibre broadband network for rural Ireland on behalf of the Irish Government.
NBI’s team brings together some of the most talented individuals in Ireland and across the world, with deep knowledge and experience in delivering projects to the scale of the National Broadband Plan (NBP). This includes developing, building and operating networks and coordinating all the elements required to finance and deliver a project of the size and complexity of Ireland’s NBP.
NBI was established by Granahan McCourt, an international investor in technology, media and telecommunications. For over 30 years, Granahan McCourt has partnered with governments, corporations and communities to connect people through innovation in technologically underserved areas of the world.
Nokia is providing the active equipment for the project while 4Site, Actavo and Entegro are the network design partners. NBI’s build partners include Actavo, KN Group, Secto, TLI and Gaeltec. NBI is also working with infrastructure owners and operators such as open eir (pole and ducts network) and Enet (State owned MANs).
NBI will be responsible for the management of the new national broadband network for at least the next 25 years.
About Granahan McCourt Capital
Granahan McCourt is a private investment firm focused on the technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) industries.
Granahan McCourt’s principals have world-leading experience in designing, building and deploying large-scale telecoms infrastructure. The firm’s founder and CEO, David McCourt, has held senior roles as CEO, President or board member at some of the biggest telecom network operators, including Level 3 Communications, MFS Communications, Corporate Communications Network and WorldCom. He is also an Emmy award-winning producer and best-selling author.
For over 30 years, David McCourt has been an innovator, entrepreneur, and business leader. He has founded or bought over 20 companies in 9 countries and is widely recognised as a transformational force in TMT.