DLA Piper advises on the formation of Axione Fibre to contribute to the UK digital transformation

DLA Piper has advised Axione on the formation of Axione Fibre, a company dedicated to deploying and operating a full-fibre network targeting sub-urban and rural areas, to help bridge the digital divide and address the challenge of digital transformation in the UK.

This GBP300 million investment raised along with third party equity partners is the first phase of a large-scale project aiming to reach 4 million premises throughout the UK.

Axione Fibre will design, build and operate a wholesale full-fibre network. Using an open access network model, Axione Fibre acts as a wholesale-only operator partnering with internet service providers, integrators, operators and channel partners to offer reliable ultrafast broadband services to end-users.

Axione has a long history of deploying and operating digital infrastructure assets and is backed by Bouygues Group, a major international player in construction and telecommunications, and Vauban Infrastructure Partners, an affiliate of Natixis, a major investment management company in the infrastructure space.

DLA Piper has advised Axione on the formation of Axione Fibre, including the shareholder arrangements and the construction arrangements. The team was led by Corporate partner and Global Chair of Infrastructure, Construction and Transport Sector, Martin Nelson-Jones, alongside partner and Global Co-chair of DLA Piper's telecoms practice, Mike Conradi, and Construction partner Sarah Thomas.

Martin Nelson-Jones commented: “This is an important project for the UK’s digital infrastructure roll-out, given the expertise and resources of the parties involved and the aim of deploying essential digital infrastructure to support local social and economic transformation. We are proud to have advised Axione on this exciting project.”

This is the latest in a series of major UK fibre transactions DLA Piper has worked on over the past few months, including advising Northleaf Capital on acquiring an 80% stake in Quickline Communications, advising TalkTalk on the GBP200 sale of FibreNation and advising G.Network on its equity fundraising to invest more than GBP1 billion in rolling out broadband connectivity in London.