CityFibre, a leading gigabit broadband builder in the UK, has completed the acquisition of alternative network provider Lit Fibre, expanding its coverage by an additional 220,000 premises, with predictions to reach a total of 3.8 million premises or 3.5 million ready-for-service (RFS) by early 2025. The acquisition, valued at circa £80 million, is part of CityFibre’s wider ambition to cover up to 8 million UK premises, which includes receiving approximately £2.4 billion in equity, £4.9 billion in debt, and £800 million of BDUK subsidy, equating to around 30% of UK’s total premises. The deal brings various towns in Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, Hertfordshire, Worcestershire, Essex, and Suffolk within CityFibre’s scope. CEO Greg Mesch, with support from Lit Fibre’s equity investor Newlight Partners LP, reaffirms CityFibre’s M&A strategy to integrate Lit Fibre quickly, adding Newlight Partners as a new shareholder that acknowledges the high-quality business Lit Fibre has built. The challenge ahead includes separating Lit Fibre’s retail ISP business with 10,000 customers from its network operations, as CityFibre usually operates as a wholesale provider. While CityFibre intends to retain the Lit Fibre brand initially, future divestment of the customer base or the retail brand is a possibility. Full integration of Lit Fibre’s network into CityFibre’s operations is expected to take six months before its contributions to total coverage numbers can be officially recognized.

Telecommunications, Investment,United Kingdom