Alinda nears full deployment of Fund III with Glide acquisition

The deal marks the Connecticut firm’s first investment in the UK digital infra market and values the company at around £200m.

Alinda Capital Partners, an infrastructure investment firm based in Connecticut, has acquired Glide Group, a broadband provider primarily active in the UK but with a smaller presence in other European markets as well, from private equity firm Inflexion.

Alinda did not disclose financial details of the transaction. However, a source told Infrastructure Investor that the deal values Glide, which provides broadband services for student accommodation, build-to-rent residential accommodation and regional business parks, at around £200 million ($251 million; €225 million).

“Glide has built the UK’s leading national fibre network in this specialist market, reaching approximately 100,000 premises and approximately 250,000 customers,” Alinda said in a statement.

According to Glide’s website, the company is also growing in Europe providing broadband and smart services for student accommodation at universities in Italy, Germany, France and the Netherlands.

While Glide represents Alinda’s first investment in digital infrastructure in the UK, it is the third the firm has made in the sector to date. The other two are in the form of a joint venture with QTS Realty Trust, a data owner and operator of data centres in the US; and EmiTel, a radio and TV broadcast operator and owner of mobile towers in Poland.

According to Alinda managing partner Jim Metcalfe, “digital infrastructure is a priority area of focus” for the firm.

It is unclear whether the firm is funding the investment through Alinda Infrastructure Fund III, but according to our source, Glide is most likely one of the final investments being made through the fund before it’s fully deployed. Launched in 2015, Fund III closed on $1 billion in 2018. According to Infrastructure Investor data, its original target was $4 billion.

Fund III has already made its first exit, selling UK gas metering business Energy Assets Group to a consortium led by Madrid-based Asterion Industrial Partners, in February. Asterion and its consortium partners, EDF Invest and Swiss Life, paid £500 million for the company, more than double the £209 million Alinda and Hermes had paid in July 2016 to acquire the company and delist it from the London Stock Exchange.

Alinda declined to comment for this story.