Investment fund buys into broadband supplier Hyperoptic

Mubadala Investment Company, the VC arm of the government of Abu Dhabi, is to acquire a minority stake in full-fibre broadband supplier Hyperoptic as the firm brings forward its roll-out

Hyperoptic is bringing forward its full-fibre broadband roll-out targets forward by 12 months after signing a deal for a significant but undisclosed equity raise with Mubadala Investment Company, the investment arm of the Abu Dhabi government.

Its latest cash injection – which also sees Mubadala take a minority stake in the business – comes three months after it raised £250m to shore up its roll-out plans.

The supplier said it now aims to deploy full-fibre services to two million homes in 2021 instead of 2022, and five million by 2024 instead of 2025.

“Backing by such a significant sovereign wealth fund not only provides the firepower to deliver on our plan and vision, but is a further proof of the road we have taken in fundamentally transforming a very slow and reactive UK telco market,” said Hyperoptic chairman Boris Ivanovic.

Mounir Barakat, executive director of Mubadala ICT, who will take a seat on Hyperoptic’s board as an observer following the closure of the transaction, said: “We have been following Hyperoptic for the past couple of years and have been impressed by the impact they have had on the UK fibre market, taking a strong leadership, catalyst and disruptor role.

“We are excited to be joining the Hyperoptic team, providing substantial capital and balance sheet power as support for their clear vision for the future of the UK telecom market,” he said.

At the same time, Hyperoptic has announced a new phase of its network roll-out, which will rely on duct and pole access (DPA) through existing Openreach infrastructure.

Dubbed the Hyper Cities roll-out, the plan is to deploy a 5,000km metro fibre network in the next two years to support its services in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London and Manchester, with a further 10 cities to be announced next year.

In this way it hopes to broaden its reach beyond the large residential blocks that it has traditionally focused on to smaller apartment buildings, homes and businesses.

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