» ISP News » 

Rural ISP Gigaclear Signs £525m Long-Term Funding Strategy

Friday, April 3rd, 2020 (2:02 pm) - Score 4,087

Rural UK full fibre (FTTP) broadband ISP Gigaclear, which since last year has been working with their investment partner Infracapital to develop a “long-term funding strategy” (including an assessment of further debt funding), has today confirmed to ISPreview.co.uk that they’ve secured £525m in financing.

The provider is currently still in the recovery phase after many of their projects’ suffered significant deployment delays during 2018-2019, which followed various problems with resources, planning and management. The situation also resulted in the loss of a significant 1Gbps Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) roll-out contract across Devon and Somerset (here).

NOTE: Gigaclear’s original ambition was to cover 350,000 rural premises with FTTP by the end of 2021, then 500,000 by 2025 (they’ve so far done 129,000 but some may not be live).

However, since early last year, a lot of work has gone toward putting the operator back on the right track and steady progress is now being made. As part of that the operator’s CFO, Ian Wade, has been busy behind the scenes developing a new long-term funding strategy and the fruits of that are now coming to light.

As we understand it Gigaclear has secured £525m in financing from Lloyds, Natwest, Santander and ABN Amro. The package consists of a £480m seven-year capital expenditure facility and a £45m revolving credit facility.

Gareth Williams, CEO of Gigaclear, said:

“We are really pleased to have concluded the debt funding as outlined in last year’s annual report. We would like to thank our shareholders for their continual support, and to welcome the Banks, as they provide the funding for the next stage of our exciting story. The funding will be invested in the expansion of our network.”

We should point out that the ISP hasn’t put out a huge announcement about this development, which would normally attract a lot more publicity. The operator felt as if, given the current COVID-19 (Coronavirus) crisis, a bigger announcement at this time might not have been appropriate.

Nevertheless this is a significant development for the provider and one that should help to secure their future roll-out plans. We hope to get more details once things start getting back to normal around the UK.

Share with Twitter
Share with Linkedin
Share with Facebook
Share with Reddit
Share with Pinterest
Tags: , ,
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
Leave a Comment
13 Responses
  1. AnotherTim says:

    I hope that Gigaclear will now be able to finish planning the (much revised) roll-out for my area which was originally supposed to be live by the end of 2018.

    1. 1pf says:

      Yep especially along A40 in Gloucester between Huntley and Ross where fastershire failed to install in the first place and Gigaclear still have not reached+areas around yes)

    2. A says:

      According to one.network they seem to be heading north through Longhope and Micheldean, and I had expected them to continue and fill in the missing bits along the A40, but there is no further works listed anywhere that I can find.
      According to Fastershire they have changed/merged the areas for all remaining builds, so just the areas shown on Gigaclear’s website are out of date. My area is now part of the ‘Stroat Chepstow (South West)’ build, which I guess is the amalgamation of the Beachley, Sedbury, Woodcroft, and Brookend areas, with a build start date of June 2020. But with no works planned, no contact with Parish Councils, and Covid-19, I’m expecting another slip of dates.
      At least they won’t now run out of cash before they start.

    3. 1pf says:

      Thank you A

    4. AnotherTim says:

      BTW, not that it matters but “A” was me – I hit the wrong key. If I ever hear any more I’ll post it to the Gigaclear forum.

  2. MikeP says:

    Looks like it’s primarily debt financing, not equity, given the involvement of the banks.

    Which is short-term financing of a long-term infrastructure investment. May not end well – at least for the shareholders.

    1. wirelesspacman says:

      As long as it is done sensibly, it should be fine. The investments should become revenue generating pretty quickly (if done well!), generating a decent amount of free cash that can be used to service (a sensible amount of) loans.

    2. Phylomena Brown says:

      Is the glass half full, half empty scenario here? Positivity is the key.

  3. Bobthefibrebuilder says:

    I assume that’s £480M over seven years. With the low cost of debt these days you would be doing something pretty wrong if you couldn’t afford it. You should have connected quite a few homes with that kind of cash.

    Basically it generates a good solid return for the banks, albeit quite a small return. But at the moment who can generate high returns over the long term. It’s all about stable returns right now and broadband connectivity is pretty stable at the moment.

    1. A_Builder says:

      Stable and long term returns against a tangible asset.

  4. Highlandworrier says:

    Was there any comment on their legal challenge to R100 LOT1?

    Its already added another 3 months to the planning process as OpenReach cant do any work on planning for the next steps for the most complex challenge within R100

    I appreciate everything is affected by COVID19 but it would be good to understand how long this legal challenge will take

  5. Cathal Connern says:

    We have also been waiting for Fastershire or in our post code we call them slowershire to get the ball rolling for fibre to the premises. They as you can imagine have awarded the contract to Gigaclear who clearly are not up to the job but willing to take all of the cash.

    We have been bumped back 5 years in the planning process and I believe we are now going to be part of the stroat/chepstow build process which should have started in June 2020. I have search and found no evidence of planning consent with the local councils for any permission to dig up roads in our immediate area or postcode. I don’t believe that this company will ever deliver fibre to the premises here and that Fastershire should be held responsible for a waste of public funds.

  6. BILL HOLDER says:

    Still, our village of Furneux Pelham, East Herts is still waiting for gigaclear to sort out our fibre, 6 years after they said they would come soon, two years ago they dug the roads up, annoyed everyone, then gigaclear sacked company and now two years later still no end or finish date from them, I’ve asked and asked nicely about this, and they cannot come up with any more excuses of blaming everyone else.

Comments are closed.

Comments RSS Feed

Javascript must be enabled to post (most browsers do this automatically)

Privacy Notice: Please note that news comments are anonymous, which means that we do NOT require you to enter any real personal details to post a message. By clicking to submit a post you agree to storing your comment content, display name, IP, email and / or website details in our database, for as long as the post remains live.

Only the submitted name and comment will be displayed in public, while the rest will be kept private (we will never share this outside of ISPreview, regardless of whether the data is real or fake). This comment system uses submitted IP, email and website address data to spot abuse and spammers. All data is transferred via an encrypted (https secure) session.

NOTE 1: Sometimes your comment might not appear immediately due to site cache (this is cleared every few hours) or it may be caught by automated moderation / anti-spam.

NOTE 2: Comments that break our rules, spam, troll or post via known fake IP/proxy servers may be blocked or removed.
Cheapest Superfast ISPs
  • Vodafone £19.50 (*22.50)
    Speed 38Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • NOW £20.00 (*32.00)
    Speed 36Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Hyperoptic £20.00 (*25.00)
    Speed 50Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: Promo Code: BIRTHDAY10
  • Shell Energy £21.99 (*30.99)
    Speed 35Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Plusnet £22.00 (*38.20)
    Speed 36Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: £60 Reward Card
Large Availability | View All
Cheapest Ultrafast ISPs
  • Gigaclear £24.00 (*49.00)
    Speed: 300Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Vodafone £24.00 (*27.00)
    Speed: 100Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Community Fibre £25.00 (*27.50)
    Speed: 200Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Hyperoptic £25.00 (*35.00)
    Speed: 150Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: Promo Code: BIRTHDAY10
  • Virgin Media £28.00 (*52.00)
    Speed: 108Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
Large Availability | View All
The Top 20 Category Tags
  1. FTTP (3552)
  2. BT (3021)
  3. Politics (1935)
  4. Building Digital UK (1924)
  5. FTTC (1887)
  6. Openreach (1834)
  7. Business (1690)
  8. Mobile Broadband (1478)
  9. Statistics (1408)
  10. FTTH (1365)
  11. 4G (1276)
  12. Fibre Optic (1172)
  13. Virgin Media (1166)
  14. Wireless Internet (1159)
  15. Ofcom Regulation (1147)
  16. Vodafone (845)
  17. EE (834)
  18. 5G (770)
  19. TalkTalk (769)
  20. Sky Broadband (747)
Helpful ISP Guides and Tips

Copyright © 1999 to Present - ISPreview.co.uk - All Rights Reserved - Terms , Privacy and Cookie Policy , Links , Website Rules , Contact