Infranity, the new name for Generali Global Infrastructure, has completed three strategic investments in high-speed broadband, fibre-to-the-home and renewable energy.
Infranity has contributed €130m of financing to Fibre Networks Ireland (FNI), a company aiming to roll out fibre-to-the-home networks across Ireland, targeting 1.9m households, which equates to 84% of homes and businesses in the country, by the end of 2026. FNI is a partnership between national incumbent and infrastructure fund manager Infravia Capital Partners.
In another transaction, Infranity participated in the financing of Société de Développement de la Fibre Au Service des Territoires, a joint venture between infrastructure fund manager Vauban and telecom operator Bouygues Telecom to co-invest in fibre-to-the-home networks in France through the acquisition of long-term access rights. The platform will allow the roll-out of high-speed broadband to 20m households in France, 80% of which are in rural areas.
Joining forces with other strategic institutional investors, Infranity has secured an equity stake in Hexagon Renewable Energy a new independent power producer, previously TTR Energy. Hexagon’s business comprises a large portfolio of onshore wind farms in France in different stages of their life (operating, under construction, ready-to-build and some in development stage). The investment is expected to generate steady long-term returns.
Philippe Benaroya, founding partner and CEO of Infranity, said: ”The investment is aligned with Infranity’s strategy of supporting green energies, strongly backed by the European Union and the French government due to their positive environmental contribution.
”It demonstrated our ability to team up with an established industrial partner to support its development plans. It also represents a great opportunity for Infranity’s investors to be associated with the energy transition and to benefit from resilient cash flows and stable long-term returns.”
Benaroya added that all three investments reflect its approach of investing in core plus infrastructures, to build a portfolio of ”resilient assets and businesses with predictable returns. These assets provide essential services to the European economies, they benefit from contracted, regulated or stable cash flows, thus providing attractive and stable yield over the long-term to investors”.
He said: ”These assets also reflect our commitment to sustainability as they have a positive impact on the local communities. Our ESG and impact investing approach is based on selecting investments for their contribution to the UN SDGs and the Paris-Agreement climate trajectory and also on meeting adequate ESG standards/risk mitigation, including minimum social safeguards and no significant harmful impact on sustainable development.”
Generali Global Infrastructure, now Infranity, is mostly focused on debt but has also started to offer infrastructure equity solutions.
Benaroya said: ”Europe remains our main focus at the moment given the maturity and dynamism of this market, although we are expanding our geographical focus. We have been a very active investor in the telecom sector.
”Investing in fibre networks to provide ultra-fast broadband internet access to European territories remains one of the key themes for us. Different regions of Europe are at different stages of maturity, and we see both the opportunity to deploy capital to finance the rollout of networks as well as opportunities to start consolidating the market in the most advanced part of Europe including in France.
”Energy saving is obviously at the top of the agenda and fibre is part of the solution with a much-reduced energy consumption compared to the legacy copper network.”
He added that the new name, Infranity, is “aimed at bringing more clarity for the clients as it reflects the company’s two major strengths: “infrastructure” and “humanity”.
To read the latest edition of the latest IPE Real Assets magazine click here.