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Northleaf Capital Acquire Majority Stake in UK ISP Quickline

Saturday, April 24th, 2021 (12:01 am) - Score 1,128
quickline fixed wireless broadband 2017

Broadband ISP Quickline (Quickfire), which specialises in deploying “full fibreFTTP and Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) broadband networks around Lincolnshire and Yorkshire, has set a target of covering 500,000 premises with their network after Northleaf Capital Partners acquired a majority stake in the company.

The provider, which is part of the Bigblu group and recently secured a string of four multi-million pound state aid supported rural broadband rollout contracts in the two counties (Building Digital UK), previously had a long-term ambition to cover just 170,000 homes over the next few years and has now boosted that to 500,000 (it remains unclear how many of these will involve FTTP and what the time-scale is).

NOTE: Quickline has recently also joined Cityfibre’s wholesale network to offer FTTP services via its new Quickfire division (here).

At the time of writing it’s still unclear how much money is involved in the Northleaf deal, and we note that Quickline’s existing management team – as well as Bigblu Broadband (AIM: BBB.L) and Harwood Capital – will retain minority stakes in the company. Northleaf Capital Partners is a global private markets investment firm with over £10bn of commitments under management.

The news comes shortly after Quickline announced that the former Managing Director of KCOM in Hull, Sean Royce, had been appointed as their new Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

Steve Jagger, CTO and Founder of Quickline Communications, said:

“We’re delighted with the prospect of working with Northleaf and accelerating the investment in gigabit capable broadband infrastructure across the North of England and beyond. With Northleaf’s support, we can make a real difference to our rural communities, helping narrow the digital divide whist also creating hundreds of jobs across our region.”

Roderick Gadsby, Head of Northleaf’s UK Infrastructure Division, said:

“We are pleased to have agreed to acquire Quickline as the company is an excellent fit with our communications infrastructure strategy and our broader portfolio of mid-market infrastructure assets in select OECD countries. We look forward to working closely with the management team as they execute the business plan and accelerate the delivery of gigabit capable fixed wireless and FTTP services to underserved rural regions of the UK.”

The announcement is a significant development for Quickline and could turn them into a more significant market player, although only time will tell. At present there’s no shortage of alternative broadband networks (altnets) operating in the same space.

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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
2 Responses
  1. R says:

    The amount paid is about £80m I think (there is a stock exchange announcement from BigBlu).

  2. Anna says:

    I wondered what the sudden one.network stuff was all about. Only a few but I think they are upgrading the backhauls for the wireless in my area. (Boston)

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