Amber Infrastructure has sold its minority stake in UK rural fibre network operator Airband.

Amber said its National Digital Infrastructure Fund (NDIF) has sold its interest to Abrdn’s core infrastructure team for an undisclosed amount.

Founded in 2009, Airband is an alternative network provider focused on rural and hard-to-reach areas in the West of England. Airband has transformed from a small rural-focused, fixed-wireless-access operator to one of the largest full-fibre rural networks in the country.

Airband was Abrdn’s first investment in the UK telecommunications infrastructure market through SLCI, the manager’s second core infrastructure fund.

Dominic Helmsley, head of Abrdn core infrastructure, said: “Since our first investment into Airband in 2020, we have been impressed with the growth the business has achieved in delivering much-needed safe and reliable high-speed connectivity to local communities who have been underserved by others.

“That’s why we’re really excited to extend our commitment to Airband by announcing this strategic follow-on investment via our second core infrastructure fund.”

The stake sale follows Amber’s five-year investment in the business.

Ben Terry, senior asset management director at Amber Infrastructure, said: “Since NDIF’s original investment in Airband in 2018, we’ve been delighted by the company’s success in its pivot towards full fibre, as demonstrated by its most recent achievement in reaching over 290k homes.

“Amber would like to thank Abrdn for its support over the past two-and-a-half years and we wish the company every success over the coming years as it continues to bridge the digital divide in underserved rural communities across the West of England.”

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