We reported on Friday (see TalkTalk deal back on track?) that the much delayed deal between TalkTalk and CityFibre for the latter to buy FibreNation was finally back on track after a hiatus due to the UK elections. As expected, the deal was inked today, subject to shareholder approval, making TalkTalk £200 million richer and CityFibre the owner of FibreNation’s full-fibre infrastructure in the North of England.
As part of the deal, TalkTalk will become a major CityFibre wholesale customer across both consumer and business markets, having made long-term commitments to use its network. Essentially, this represents TalkTalk separating itself from network build out and operation to concentrate on service provision – avoiding the need for it to raise CAPEX for the build.
The two companies have history, having worked together back in 2014 along with Sky) to launch the full fibre network across York. Currently, FibreNation is midway through digs in other parts of the North of England, including Harrogate, Dewsbury, Knaresborough and Ripon, and before its acquisition had plans to pass 3 million homes and businesses. If CityFibre continues with these rollout plans it will boost its own market reach from 5 million premises passed (FTTP) to 8 million, making it a significant national digital infrastructure provider.
“Today’s announcement establishes CityFibre as the UK’s third national digital infrastructure platform allowing millions more consumers and businesses to benefit from access to faster, more reliable services,” commented Greg Mesch, CEO, CityFibre.