Aberdeen Standard Investments invests in Airband
Aberdeen Standard Investments (ASI) and Amber Infrastructure Group (Amber) are to invest into Airband Community Internet Limited (Airband) alongside the existing investors of the Company.
The agreement will see ASI acquire a majority stake in Airband, with Amber and the founders of the Company retaining minority positions, to support the future growth of the business.
Airband is a provider of rural connectivity services across the West of England, historically through Fixed Wireless Access (FWA). Since 2018, the business has moved towards providing Fibre to the Premises (FTTP), driven by UK Government led initiatives, including subsidies to promote significant investment in fibre infrastructure in rural areas. The business has a network footprint covering thousands of homes across the West of England and has secured significant contracts underpinning a business plan that targets an additional 500,000 premises by 2025, through a combination of subsidised and unsubsidised capital investment.
The Company and its management team will benefit from having an aligned shareholder group bringing together experienced partners with deep infrastructure knowledge. The shareholders have a joint objective of sustainable growth of the business through supplying the customers with fast, reliable and cost effective broadband in rural areas to help drive productivity, connect communities and reduce the digital divide across the UK.
Dominic Helmsley, Head of Economic Infrastructure, Aberdeen Standard Investments, says: “The infrastructure team’s first investment in the UK telecommunications infrastructure market follows our strategy to acquire and manage high quality infrastructure assets across Europe, and to work on behalf of our investors with local stakeholders to deliver safe and reliable essential services to local communities.”
“We are delighted that the existing shareholders have selected us as their preferred partner in the continued delivery of FWA services and to assist in the rural rollout of FTTP networks in the West of England. Airband’s existing shareholders and Aberdeen Standard Investments have worked together to agree a transaction that benefits all parties and we look forward to continuing to work in partnership with all individuals involved.”
Redmond Peel , CEO and founder, Airband Community Internet Limited, says:
“We’re excited to welcome ASI to Airband and are looking forward to working with them and Amber to continue rolling out full fibre broadband to our rural communities. Their support and expertise means that we as a business are able to invest in and grow our teams to significantly scale up operations, bringing better connectivity to towns and villages that really need it and creating hundreds of jobs in the South West.
“ASI are the natural partner for us because of their shared vision for the business and support of the culture that has been an integral part of Airband for years. Together with Amber we now have the support and backing to bring the Airband service and values to many more homes and businesses across the West and South West of England, with more than 500,000 additional premises being covered in the next five years.”
Chris Hogg, Investment Director, Amber Infrastructure, says: “We are delighted to welcome Aberdeen Standard Investments as shareholders of Airband. We look forward to working together to accelerate the availability of full fibre broadband across rural and underserved parts of the UK.”