F2i and Marguerite JV continues Italian telecoms push

The funds bought a 90% share in KPNQwest Italia, which they plan to merge with two prior acquisitions to create a single platform.

A joint vehicle of F2i and the Marguerite Fund has bought a 90 percent share in KPNQwest Italia, a Milan-based telecoms firm.

The firms would not comment on the terms of the acquisition.

The purchase will be made through 2i Fiber, in which F2i’s €1.24 billion second infrastructure fund holds an 80 percent share and Marguerite holds the remaining 20 percent. In June, that vehicle bought 94.12 percent of Infracom Italia, which owns 9,000km of fibre-optic cable and three data centres in the country, for €57.8 million from Barcelona-based Abertis. A month later, 2i Fiber bought MC-link, a Rome-based firm with 2,200km of fibre-optics and four data centres, for €50.5 million.

With the deal for KPNQwest, which owns four Milan data centres and a national broadband access network, the fund will now gain a third Italian telecoms company. The firms plan to integrate the three companies into a single platform, possibly adding other operators in the future.

“The objective is to create a national player with strong managerial skills, financial strength and high levels of efficiency and quality of service,” the firms said.

KPNQwest reported an EBITDA of €2.8 million in 2016, according to the firms. The deal is expected to reach financial close by the end of October and is subject to government approval.

Marguerite, also known as the 2020 European Fund for Energy, Climate Change and Infrastructure, has now made 18 investments across 12 European countries. It is backed by the European Investment Bank, Paris-based Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations, Rome’s Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, Instituto de Crédito Oficial, Frankfurt-based Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau and Warsaw-based PKO Bank Polski.