Hamburg Commercial Bank finances largest open fibre network in Portugal
Hamburg, June 1, 2021 - Hamburg Commercial Bank (HCOB) has closed one of the most important infrastructure transactions in fibre roll-out on the Iberian Peninsula. Being mandated by its long-standing client dstelecom, the Hamburg-based bank structured the expansion financing, which will be Portugal's leading private open-access fibre-optic network operator capable of providing a total of one million connections.
The entire amount of the project is EUR 200 million. In line with its role, HCOB is the largest lender in this landmark transaction. Further tranches will be financed by Banco Santander, Edmond de Rothschild Asset Management, Kommunalkredit Austria AG, Novo Banco S.A. and Vantage Infrastructure.
Over the past ten years, dstelecom has deployed, operated and maintained the first and largest open FTTH ("fibre to the home") network in Portugal's digitally mostly underserved rural areas. The company, founded in 2008, is owned by the Luxembourg infrastructure investor CUBE and by the Portuguese dst group.
HCOB is one of the first providers of fibre-optic financing throughout Europe and specializes in supporting companies on their growth path in this sector. The bank has been focusing on the expansion of fibre long before Covid-19. “This is now paying off. Our expertise is valued throughout Europe," explained Steffen Leiwesmeier, Head of Digital Infrastructure at Hamburg Commercial Bank. "Our customer has implemented the future model for successful fibre roll-out. With its open access fibre optic network, dstelecom creates access to the end customer for the Internet service, battling for end users. Competition will boost expansion."
"The attractiveness of the borrower, the sector as well as the financing package was underlined by the significant oversubscription of the completed syndication," said Tim Boltzen, Head of Syndicate & Credit Solutions at HCOB. "We have attracted both banks and institutional investors as additional financing partners."
The use of fiber optics is more energy-efficient than the use of copper or VDSL, and fiber optic networks enable efficient expansion of the digital infrastructure in Europe. This transaction well aligns with HCOB’s sustainable objectives and its established ESG-Criteria for screening all financing for sustainability and environmental compatibility.
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