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EQT targets fibre optic expansion with IP-Only stake buy

13 May 2013

NextGen fibre opticSwedish private equity firm EQT has bought a 91 per cent stake in fibre-optic communications business IP-Only from the company’s three largest shareholders.

EQT said the move was the first step in its aim for growth and consolidation in the Swedish fibre-optic network market.

The firm said it planned to improve IP’s capital base, increase the pace of investment and pursue add-on acquisitions.

IP owns and operates a high-capacity fibre-optic network linking Nordic capitals Stockholm, Oslo, Copenhagen and Helsinki, as well as Sweden’s second and third-largest cities.

EQT industrial advisor Gunnar Asp has been proposed as chairman for the IP board of directors following the investment.

He said, “IP-Only is an exciting company with a great business on its own, with potential to further improve its market position by consolidating and making further investments in the Swedish fiber market in line with the Swedish Government’s target for 2020.”

EQT partner and investment advisor Jannik Kruse Petersen added, “Data traffic is expected to continue to grow in a high pace making continued conversion to fiber technology inevitable.

“EQT has a long and deep experience from the cable TV and communications industries and we believe that with IP-Only as a base, EQT has the ability to create a leading independent and open network operator in Sweden.”

Last month it emerged EQT was gearing up to raise a €1bn mid-market fund targeting Europe and Asia in the wake of its successful infrastructure fund close earlier this year.

The firm merged its European ‘expansion capital’ department with its Asian investment team under co-founder and deputy chief executive Jan Stahlberg ahead of the fundraise, the FT said.

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