Back in February, Milan-centric metro fiber company Metroweb was said to be up for sale, and that Telecom Italia was the frontrunner. Well the wind must have shifted since then, because Bloomberg is reporting that infrastructure fund F2i and Intesa Sanpaolo’s IMI Investimenti unit have won the auction for some €436M, or $628M. Given the impressive price tag, they must have been doing rather well – this was obviously not a distressed asset.
According to their website, Metroweb has 2,255km of ‘infrastructure’, 5,100km of cables, and 263,000km of fiber miles in the Milan metro area, plus another 1,000km of intercity fiber hooking up other Italian cities. Various media outlets have different numbers though. They don’t seem to have a fiber map, though I’d sure like to see one.
Europe’s metro fiber business seems to be catching up rapidly with that of the US, at least in terms of private equity interest. But there is some strategic interest as well. Swisscom’s Fastweb is said to be interested in buying a minority stake after the deal goes through, which makes since given that Fastweb is said to be a big customer.
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