Shropshire Star

SWS Broadband and Cadence Networks merged with Voneus

A Shropshire business has been merged with another company as part of a £250milllion to help with the distribution of broadband into rural communities.

Members of the Voneus team

Macquarie Capital, Israel Infrastructure Fund and Tiger Infrastructure Partners have announced they have merged the county's SWS Broadband, plus Cadence Networks, with Voneus Broadband. The company has also acquired Broadway Partners.

Tiger Infrastructure Partners, the principal shareholder of Rural Broadband Solutions, the holding company of SWS Broadband and Cadence Networks, will become a major shareholder in the combined group alongside Macquarie Capital, which initially invested in Voneus in 2019, and IIF, which first invested in Voneus in 2021.

The combined group will be funded with up to £250 million in new capital from the three shareholders and bank lenders to advance the company and the UK government’s shared objective of closing the digital divide.

Christopher Traggio, CEO of Voneus Broadband, said: “This is a very exciting time for Voneus, and for our new partners, shareholders, and the communities we serve.

“We have the backing of our shareholders to accelerate our roll-out plan, which we know will make a positive impact as we all share the same focus to deliver innovative broadband solutions to communities across the UK.

“Welcoming SWS Broadband, Cadence Networks and Broadway Partners into Voneus provides us with even more opportunities to support businesses, individuals, and communities to thrive – fostering economic development, education, and communication to help improve the overall quality of life no matter where they are from.”

Oliver Bradley, Senior Managing Director at Macquarie Capital, said: “Voneus is already making a significant contribution to rural communities, but is only at the start of its journey. This important capital raise from three leading infrastructure investors and the joining of UK rural fibre players means we can rapidly accelerate the vital role we have in closing the digital divide nationwide.”

Yaron Kestenbaum, co-founder and managing partner of IIF said: “Our goal has always been to help Voneus evolve into a bigger and stronger business, with far wider outreach and solid institutional shareholder support. This merger will go a long way to achieving this.”

Emil W. Henry Jr., CEO of Tiger Infrastructure, commented: “The shared vision of Voneus and Rural Broadband Solutions has been to invest alongside the UK government to deliver best-in-class infrastructure and service to meet the connectivity needs of greatly underserved rural households and small businesses. We are pleased to be teaming up with Macquarie Capital and Israel Infrastructure Fund to rapidly advance the realisation of that vision.”

Macquarie Capital led on the debt fundraise. Tiger Infrastructure Partners was advised on the merger by Cameron Barney LLP.

The terms of the transaction have not been disclosed.

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