DLA Piper has advised full fibre broadband operator G.Network in connection with a successful fundraising to invest over GBP1bn in rolling out connectivity in London. The fundraise includes a new equity investment by Universities Superannuation Scheme Limited (USS), the UK’s largest private pension scheme by way of assets, of up to GBP295m over six years; as well as debt secured from four banks of up to GBP745m contingent on passing certain milestones.
DLA Piper acted as legal adviser to G.Network in relation to the equity aspects of the transaction.
Cube Infrastructure Managers, which has invested in G.Network over the past two years extending its network to cover over 150,000 premises in central London, will remain as co-controlling shareholder alongside USS to jointly further develop G.Network.
In the next five years, G.Network plans to dig around 4,500km of streets, reaching approximately 1.4 million London premises, including many in underserved areas. The rollout is expected to create more than 1,250 new jobs, in addition to the c.a. 250 staff already employed by G.Network, whilst bringing competitively-priced high speed broadband to residents and businesses.
The DLA Piper team was led by London-based Corporate partner and Global Co-Chair of Infrastructure, Construction and Transport, Martin Nelson-Jones, alongside Paris-based Corporate partner Simon Charbit. They were assisted by senior associate Danny Westmoreland and associate Lucy Carr.
Commenting, Martin Nelson-Jones, said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated technology infrastructure requirements. At a time when so many are reliant on good connectivity, it is great to see G.Network plans to roll out full fibre broadband to 1.4 million premises, reaching 13 London boroughs over five years.”