HICL Infrastructure has bought a controlling stake in a French fibre company from DIF Capital Partners.

The InfraRed Capital Partners-managed London-listed infrastructure fund has invested an undisclosed amount to buy DIF Core Infrastructure Fund I’s (CIF I) 55% shareholding in ADTIM.

ADTIM is an independent wholesale fibre network providing low-density rural areas in the South of France with 18,300km of critical fibre-to-the-home broadband infrastructure.

HICL said following the completion of the acquisition, expected in the third quarter of the year, ADTIM will represent approximately 2% of HICL’s portfolio, by value.

The deal represents HICL’s first fibre broadband investment and the third fibre broadband investment made by InfraRed-managed funds in Europe, the company said.

Edward Hunt, the head of core income funds at InfraRed Capital Partners, said ADTIM fits with HICL’s vision by ”connecting underserved communities” with fibre broadband; linking people to employment, education and each other.

”Providing essential public services, with long-term, predictable revenues generated under a regulated tariff, ADTIM is a prime example of core infrastructure of the modern economy.”

CIF I’s manager DIF Capital Partners said the disposal will be the first exit for CIF I, a fund which raised €450m at its close in November 2017.

Andrew Freeman, head of exits at DIF Capital Partners, said: “This is the first exit for CIF I, an important milestone for our CIF strategy.

Benefitting from the strong momentum in the European fibre market, this exit is expected to yield attractive returns to our CIF I investors.”

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