Grain Connect secures funding for next phase of its fibre rollout
- £75m equity funding package
- Plan to serve 300,000 premises with hyperfast broadband services
- Creating over 200 new jobs and supporting a further 200 jobs in the wider stakeholder and supply chain
- Founding shareholder, Pinnacle Group, will be retaining a significant proportion of its interest in Grain Connect
Grain Connect, a leading provider of fibre-optic internet access services to new-build and existing homes across the UK, today announced a £75million equity investment from Equitix, one of Europe’s leading infrastructure investors, alongside Albion Capital, its existing institutional backer.
In addition to this equity funding, Grain has begun discussions with lenders in preparation for a £100m debt funding process. The combined funding will support Grain’s plans to extend its footprint to cover an initial 300,000 homes and businesses across Great Britain, with a focus on both new-build housing developments and existing urban housing.
Grain is well known in the new-build housing sector as a partner to many of the country’s largest housebuilders, providing outstanding quality and service in bringing fibre-optic internet access to their developments. Grain works with developers in well over 100 locations across the UK.
As well as bringing excellent fibre internet access to customers, Grain’s growth will generate substantial employment in both Carlisle and the regions where their network is deployed. Covid-19 has accentuated the demand for high-speed broadband and highlighted the importance of providing excellent connectivity for society as a whole. Grain is delighted to be playing its part in achieving this goal.
Peregrine Lloyd, Chief Executive, Pinnacle Group, said of the investment: “At Pinnacle we are committed to working with communities across the UK to deliver the highest quality of service through understanding the needs of residents and adapting to new technologies. This major investment in Grain Connect underlines our commitment to supporting the digital transformation of communities, enabling them to benefit from full fibre hyperfast broadband technology.
"As founding shareholders, we are delighted to see Grain Connect go from strength to strength and we cannot wait to see the company achieve their ambitious growth targets.”
Grain’s Chairman, Sean Williams, said: “We are delighted to have secured such an excellent funding partner in Equitix, a leading investor in European infrastructure with a long-term investment strategy and clear vision for our business. The Grain team are already accelerating the build programme and are hugely excited about the opportunity to scale up the excellent national platform that we have already established.”
Hugh Crossley, Chief Investment Officer, Equitix, added: “We are delighted to have agreed this investment into Grain Connect. Over the past year, the Covid-19 pandemic has emphasised the importance of data connectivity in which Grain is a leading provider. We fully support the management team’s initiatives to improve the scale and quality of their operations by investing in services and personnel, to ensure that they continue to provide best-in-class services to their customers and the local communities they serve.”
David Gudgin from Albion Capital said: “Albion has built up extensive broadband experience across a number of fibre investments, and we think the Grain team is one of the best in the sector. We fully support the plan to grow Grain into a significant nationwide fibre provider over the next five years. Grain’s ability to provide fibre to greenfield developments and existing housing makes its business model unique amongst the new fibre providers.”
For further information please visits Grain Connect.
Grain Connect moves to the next level for UK full-fibre broadband installation programme
Grain Connect, part of Pinnacle Group and one of the leading providers of ultrafast broadband for new build homes across the UK, announces £10m (GBP) investment by the Albion Real Assets Fund, a newly raised fund managed by Albion Capital.
This latest phase of
investment by the Albion Real Asset Fund will enable Grain Connect to expand
its network and service offering, grow its team and capitalise on the latest
phase of new housing developments across the UK. Grain Connect will continue to
work with Pinnacle Group, its founding shareholder and long-term funding
partner, to further unlock opportunities to support communities across Pinnacle’s
UK portfolio. At the same time, Grain
has concluded an agreement with Solway Communications, its other founding
shareholder, for the acquisition of certain network assets from Solway, the transfer
of staff and expertise to Grain and the provision of services to Solway’s fixed
Rich Robinson, Managing Director of Grain
Connect said of the announcement: “We are delighted to announce the next phase of our growth and the integration
of the full end-to-end customer experience with Grain Connect’s operations. We
are committed to providing the highest quality of service in delivering full-fibre
broadband across the UK. Albion Capital understands the opportunities for the
UK communications sector and has a proven track record investing in
organisations that deliver for customers and shareholders. This investment
enables the Grain Connect team to consolidate its position as one of the
leading installers of full-fibre broadband in the UK, whilst retaining
flexibility for housebuilder clients and ensuring the highest level of service
Adam Chirkowski, Investment Director at Albion Capital added: “The opportunity to invest in the growth of one of the UK’s most exciting communications providers is highly exciting. Capitalising on the increasing demand for future-fit broadband services, Grain Connect is working to provide new housing developments nationwide with a resilient, high-quality broadband service that is meeting the needs of homeowners. Albion has been extremely active in the FTTP market, particularly investing in the growth of alt-nets to enable them to reach critical scale. Grain Connect’s dedication to every home, ensuring residents have the foundations and the choice to receive the best quality network for them is critical to the growth of the business and makes the investment an exciting next step in Albion’s fibre portfolio.”
Lloyd, Chief Executive of the Pinnacle Group, said of the investment: “At Pinnacle we are committed to working with communities across the
UK to deliver the highest quality of service through understanding the needs of
residents and adapting to changes in our modern world. This continued investment in Grain Connect
underlines our commitment to supporting the digital transformation of
communities, enabling them to benefit from the rapid improvements to broadband
technology. Through Grain Connect, we see strong synergies across the Pinnacle
Group businesses, unlocking opportunities to provide the essential services
that enable communities to make a space, their home.”