Irish Infrastructure Fund buys majority stake in telecoms network

The Irish Infrastructure Fund (IIF), an investment fund managed by Irish Life Investment Managers and AMP Capital, is buying a majority stake in Irish telecoms network enet.

The deal will involve the fund partnering with enet’s existing shareholder Granahan McCourt Capital, a telecoms and media infrastructure investment firm.

The IIF – which was launched in 2012 to raise up to €1bn from Irish and international institutional investors – has signed a deal to acquire a 78% stake in enet, the country’s biggest wholesale-only telecommunications carrier.

It is buying the stake from Oakhill Advisors and other minority investors, AMP Capital said.

Philip Doyle, principal of the IIF at AMP Capital, said: “Demand for enet’s connectivity services are growing by close to 10% every year and this acquisition is an attractive opportunity for the IIF to invest in a business that is clearly aligned to the fund’s investment strategy.”

He said the fund saw good potential for growth at enet, and that the IIF and Granahan McCourt Capital would be able to utilise their “extensive experience in actively managing and growing telecom businesses”.

David McCourt, founder Granahan McCourt Capital, will continue as chairman of enet after the IIF acquisition, with the firm retaining its shareholding in the business.

AMP Capital said the partnership would boost enet’s plans to keep expanding its network and services in Ireland, and at the same time help the growth of its pan-European telecoms infrastructure investment strategy.

The company is based in Limerick and operates Ireland’s Metropolitan Area Networks. These will remain in state ownership after the IIF acquisition, AMP Capital said.

The enet buy is the IIF’s fifth investment , following the establishment of Valley Healthcare, and acquisitions of a 75% stake in the Viridian wind portfolio, wireless telecoms infrastructure business Towercom, and the Convention Centre Dublin PPP.

Ireland’s sovereign wealth fund, the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF), invested €250m in the IIF when it was launched.

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