Published on 08/06/2022

Societe Generale : financial and debt provider for Cytifibre's £4.9BN debt raise - UK's largest ever full fibre financing

Funds will help finance the rollout to 8m homes, 800,000 businesses, 400,000 public sector sites and 250,000 5G access points.

Societe Generale is delighted to announce its role as financial advisor and debt provider for CityFibre’s strategic £4.9bn debt raise enabling the rollout of Full Fibre across the UK, including a target of reaching approximately a third of the UK market by 2025. This will also support the UK Government’s levelling up programme to enable and deliver fast and reliable digital connectivity across the country. By extending its networks to rural areas surrounding the 285 cities, towns and villages identified in its existing rollout, CityFibre is well placed to support the Government’s rural coverage objective, ensuring that millions of rural homes can enjoy the same high-quality digital infrastructure as urban areas.

Demetrio Salorio, Chief Executive Officer, Societe Generale London Branch and Chief Country Officer UK & Ireland said: “Access to gigabit-speed broadband plays a crucial role in bridging the digital divide in the UK and contributing to levelling up across the country. This important and strategic transaction is further testimony of the bank’s advisory expertise and leading position within the digital infrastructure sector.  Societe Generale has an important role to play in the digital transition to help facilitate the development of equal access and affordable high quality digital infrastructure”.

Jonathan Tweed, Head of TMT Finance, London said: “Fibre to the home investment is critical to the UK economy and this financing, the largest to date in the UK, will enable CityFibre to provide approximately a third of the UK market with full fibre. Societe Generale is delighted to continue supporting the company and shareholders to provide this critical digital infrastructure”.

Charles Greenfield, Head of Infrastructure Finance, London said: “Full fibre infrastructure provides a foundation for economic prosperity and social development and is a priority sector for Societe Generale. We are thrilled to support CityFibre, the UK’s largest independent carrier-neutral Full Fibre platform, in their rollout of future-proof digital infrastructure across the country”.

This key transaction further demonstrates Societe Generale’s ongoing commitment to supporting its clients in their digital transition that has a positive impact on the real economy and is one of the leading banks for transactions related to fibre deployment with more than €49bn raised across 51 projects in Europe.

This project follows on from the £1.1bn debt financing package in 2019 where Societe Generale was mandated as sole Global Coordinator, Mandated Lead Arranger and Joint Bookrunner, enabling CityFibre to roll out Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) under its £2.5bn investment plan.