A consortium led by Dutch pension investor PGGM is buying a stake in a fibre network business owned by Denmark’s largest telecommunications and energy group Norlys.

The PGGM Infrastructure Fund is leading the consortium – which includes EDF Invest, the real assets investment arm of French energy firm EDF – to buy a 35% stake in Norlys Tele.

Financial details were undisclosed, but the companies said the deal represents one of ”the largest recent fibre deals in Europe”.

Norlys Tele, Norlys’ wholesale fibre network business covers 700,000 households, primarily in Jutland, making it the largest network in Denmark and one of the most advanced roll-outs in Europe.

Jens Erik Platz, the chairman of the board at Norlys, said: “When we started digging fibre some 15 years ago, not everyone could see the rationale. Now, time has shown that it was a wise decision, but we are not resting on our laurels, and the new partnership aims to ensure that we can continue the positive development.”

Niels Duedahl, Norlys CEO, said: ”With PGGM and EDF Invest as co-owners, we will free up capital for other strategically important projects, not least a possible mobile acquisition.

“But we also gain a partner with unique insights that can be leveraged when further developing our fibre activities.”

Dennis van Alphen, the head of PGGM’s digital infrastructure investments, said: ”We have had intense and constructive dialogues with Norlys management, and we are convinced that there is perfect match between Norlys’ values and aspirations and PGGM Infrastructure Fund’s strategy, investing for the long-term in sustainable infrastructure companies with a positive impact on modern society.

“At the same time, it is important to stress that Norlys will still be running the company, albeit now with us as a ‘co-driver’.”

Pierre Benoist d’Anthenay, the head of EDF Invest, said: ”Norlys’ Fibernet is one of the best run and most attractive networks which we have seen in all of Europe.

“At the same time there is ample opportunity for further developing the business together with the Norlys management, who have already created outstanding results.”

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