Ireland/UK cable link raises $15m

Sea Fibre Networks, a company building a fibre optic cable link between Ireland and the UK, has raised $15m in equity and debt. The link will more than double telecom capacity between the two countries.

Sea Fibre Networks, a privately owned Irish company which is building a fibre optic cable link between Ireland and the UK, has raised $15 million in equity and debt financing.

The equity has been provided by CC Equity, a group of mainly US private investors, while a $7.5 million loan has been provided by Investec Project and Infrastructure Finance, which is the sole mandated lead arranger on the deal.

According to a statement from Investec, the project is “Europe’s most advanced sub-sea telecommunications network” and is the first sub-sea cable being laid within Europe in 11 years. The laying of the cable is expected to be completed by the end of this year.

Running between the Welsh island of Anglesey and Dublin, the capital of Ireland, the link will “more than double” existing telecom capacity between the UK and Ireland and “reduce the length of the existing sub-sea cables by over 100 kilometres, increasing data speed”.

“We are delighted to have been able to provide this debt facility to Sea Fibre Networks in this pure project finance telecoms deal,” says Torsten Thiele, head of telecoms project finance at Investec. “In arranging finance, we brought our experience from other sub-sea telecoms deals that we have worked on, including in Africa.”

Investec Project and Infrastructure Finance – which specialises in public-private partnerships (PPPs), Private Finance Initiative (PFI) and the power and telecoms sectors – is a division of Investec Capital Markets, which in turn is a division of Investec Bank, the South African bank and asset manager.