F2i and Marguerite team up again in €50m telecoms deal

The pair have announced their second deal together in just over five weeks as they seek to consolidate a fragmented sector.

Italian infrastructure fund manager F2i and the pan-European Marguerite Fund have joined forces to spend €50.5 million to acquire Italian fibre-optic network operator MC-link.

The deal has been agreed through the 2i Fiber platform, a joint venture by the pair held 80 percent by F2i’s second €1.24 billion infrastructure fund. The partners first combined in June when they bought Infracom Italia from Abertis for €57.8 million.

As with Infracom, MC-link owns an extensive fibre-optic network stretching 2,200km, as well as four data centres and seven metropolitan area networks. Infracom’s portfolio consists of 9,000km of fibre-optic cable and three data centres based in Milan. MC-Link, listed on Milan’s alternative investment market, recorded a turnover last year of €43.5 million and an EBITDA of €9.1 million.

F2i and Marguerite said the plan is to combine MC-link and Infracom into a single platform from which further additions from Italy’s “fragmented market of telecommunications services” will be added. The pair aim to create a national player in the sector with strong financial backing.

The acquisition comes a few days after a shift in ownership of LP interests in F2i’s second €1.24 billion fund, after a €300 million portfolio in the fund previously held by UniCredit was bought by Ardian. The French group separately operates airports in Milan, Naples, Turin and Bologna alongside F2i and the pair recently received a €250 million funding boost ahead of upcoming refinancing activities.