DIF goes digital with first broadband deal

The firm’s new Core Infrastructure Fund, expected to hit a €450m hard-cap after the summer, purchased a stake in ADTIM from InfraVia.

DIF’s Core Infrastructure Fund has agreed to buy 55 percent of French broadband operator ADTIM from InfraVia Capital Partners in the firm’s first foray into the digital infrastructure sector.

DIF will become the majority shareholder of the company, joining Caisse des Dépots (30 percent) and Axione (15 percent). ADTIM operates a €123 million wholesale telecom network in the Ardèche and Drôme regions under a 25-year concession, won in 2008. Last December, it secured a tender to roll out fibre broadband to 310,000 homes in the area.

InfraVia invested in ADTIM in 2013, the last investment of its €200 million first infrastructure fund, which closed in 2008. DIF did not disclose how much it paid for the stake.

The deal helps diversify a strategy which has largely consisted of investments in transport PPPs, renewable energy and regulated assets.

It has been agreed through DIF’s Core Infrastructure Fund I, a vehicle it launched last September to target an “underserved” area of the market, including small to mid-sized infrastructure assets in the telecom infrastructure, rail, energy and utility sectors. It recently reached a €375 million second close, above the fund’s €350 million target and sources told Infrastructure Investor last week it expects to close after the summer at or near its €450 million hard-cap.

DIF continues to also fundraise for its €1.5 billion fifth infrastructure vehicle, for which it recently held a “very quick” €355 million first close.