Since it became part of the Digiweb Group, I have wondered Viatel’s pan-European duct and fiber network might serve as a platform for European M&A. Today that possibility took a big step toward reality with the raising of a financial war chest and a declaration of intent to use it.
Proventus Capital Partners has put €125 million into Viatel, which is a significant event for an entity that spent a decade in a financial coma after the dot com boom. They plan to invest that money in a major expansion, with some €100M of it apparently earmarked for the inorganic variety. Digiweb has already helped the company expand into Ireland via some of the fiber and network assets they owned there, but this could be something new.
Precisely what sort of assets they might buy with the new funds is not yet clear, and will likely be driven by the opportunities available rather than an overarching plan. That the European market is ripe for some sort of consolidation has been clear for years, but the players involved have been relatively patient thus far when it comes to the metro and regional fiber business. I had thought Viatel might wind up as a target for someone like Zayo, but clearly private equity has other ideas for now.
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