Viatel Lands €125M For Expansion, Shopping List

August 19th, 2014 by · 3 Comments

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.

TRImage_206 Aug. 19Proventus 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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Categories: Fiber Networks · Mergers and Acquisitions

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3 Comments So Far

  • anon says:

    Now that Zayo spent their money on Geo in Europe, maybe euNetworks might be a Viatel takeover target. They would bring a last mile element with their metros in Dublin, London, Amsterdam etc to complement the Viatel long haul network.

    • Rob Powell says:

      The fit would certainly work, but they’ll need more than €100M to make that happen. I rather doubt Zayo has expended its last dollar in Europe, and I think if euNetworks were for sale any time soon Zayo would still win the auction.

  • Chris says:

    @anon: Interesting idea!

    Some years ago, Viatel had sold parts of its European network assets to Eunetworks (Global Voice).

    As far as I remember, the deal concerned parts of the European Circe/PEN-2-network and the entire German Circe/PEN-3-network which Viatel bulit around 2000 together with Carrier1 and Metromedia (MFN).

    But shortly before the acquisition of Lambdanet (which had dark-fibers from Gasline in Germany), Eunetworks marked most of its infrastructure in Germany only as “leased fiber” on its network map.

    The only exception (if I remember correctly) was the line Dusseldorf > Frankfurt > Mannheim > Strassbourg, which was part of Viatel Circe/PEN-2-network.

    So the question is, if Viatel or Eunetworks still have access to the old German Viatel-Network (Circe/PEN-3) which consisted of own ducts and own cables and not only dark fiber from other suppliers.

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