Partners Group is buying a 75% stake in EOLO, in a deal that values the Italian broadband provider at an enterprise value of over €1.2bn.

Partners Group, on behalf of its clients, will acquire its stake in EOLO from Searchlight Capital Partners and a vehicle controlled by Luca Spada, EOLO’s founder and CEO.

The remaining 25% of equity will continue to be owned by the vehicle controlled by Luca Spada.

EOLO owns and operates more than 3,400 base transceiver stations and 13,000km of fibre backhaul, covering roughly 80% of Italian households.

Livio Fenati, managing director, co-head private infrastructure Europe, Partners Group, said: “EOLO benefits from transformative trends driving increased digitisation, ubiquitous connectivity and network densification, which are the themes that guide our investment approach to digital infrastructure.

“Fixed wireless access technology offers a competitive broadband solution for rural and semi-urban areas due to its competitive speed, low roll-out cost and ease of deployment, and will have significant positive impact on Italy’s rural population by enhancing its internet connectivity.”

Luca Spada, founder and CEO, EOLO, said: “Fixed wireless access is a leading broadband technology that can deliver better connectivity whilst co-existing with other telecoms infrastructure access types, such as fibre and 5G mobile. EOLO is a pioneer in deploying this increasingly popular technology, especially in Italy, which still lags other countries in terms of broadband adoption, highlighting the demand for EOLO’s services.”

Doris Schürch, member of management, private infrastructure Europe, Partners Group, said: “EOLO is a business with a strong asset base comprised of thousands of base transceiver stations, kilometres of fibre backhaul, dedicated licensed frequencies and proprietary software; it also benefits from increasing cashflows underpinned by a stable and growing subscriber base.

“Our Thematic Research shows EOLO is ideally positioned to capitalise on growing demand for high-speed broadband both in Italy and across Europe.”

Partners Group has invested $2.4bn in digital infrastructure assets on behalf of its clients since inception.

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