Asterion Industrial Partners, an independent investment management firm focused on European infrastructure in the mid-market, announced the acquisition of a 78.4% stake in Irideos S.p.A. from Fondi Italiani per le Infrastrutture Sgr. (“F2i”).
Irideos is a leading Italian digital infrastructure operator offering connectivity, data centre and cloud solutions through a network of 27,000 km fibre optic routes along motorways, the Adriatic coast and in metro areas as well as through 15 data centres. The Company’s key data centre is the Avalon Campus, the largest Italian interconnection hub strategically located at the same location as the Milan Internet Exchange.
The investment represents an add-on to Asterion’s existing portfolio company Retelit, which was acquired by Asterion and delisted from Milan Stock Exchange in November 2021. Retelit is one of Italy’s leading independent wholesale providers of fibre services, with a platform of around 15,000 km of fibre, including metropolitan networks in the 14 largest cities, as well as 19 data centres. It offers a combination of wholesale access, B2B connectivity and ICT solutions and services to its customers, which range from large telecommunications companies to small & mid-sized corporates.
Using its industrial approach and expertise, Asterion aims to consolidate Retelit’s and Irideos’s position in the Italian telecom sector by merging the two highly complementary businesses, creating the largest alternative wholesale access and B2B connectivity provider in Italy.
Through this transaction, Asterion strengthens both the depth and breadth of its European digital infrastructure portfolio, which currently includes 1.4m premises passed with Fibre-To-The-Home, 49,000 km of long-distance fibre networks, 8,000 rural backhaul radiolinks and 42,000 square meters of data centre space in Spain, Italy, the UK, and Ireland. With a particular focus on rural areas, this extensive and diversified portfolio is helping to bridge the rural digital gap in Asterion’s core geographies, while providing a critical foundation for the development of the Gigabit society.
Jesús Olmos, Founding Partner and CEO at Asterion Industrial Partners, commented: “The add-on acquisition of a majority stake in Irideos paves the way for the next growth phase of our Italian platform of fibre and data centre assets. We are particularly excited about the opportunity to combine Retelit and Irideos, creating a leading independent platform of significant scale.”
Renato Ravanelli, CEO at F2i, Fondi Italiani per le Infrastrutture, declared: “F2i has built over the years Irideos as main independent corporate telecom provider in Italy through a process of aggregation and bailout of smaller Italian operators, whose value and expertise would have been otherwise lost. Today we proudly deliver Irideos, its important activities and its 650 employees to a new phase of growth, thanks to the strengthening of its position that will result from entering a larger project. This is an example of F2i’s mission to deliver growth and value to the Italian industry. We are confident that Irideos, with Asterion’s support, will consolidate its leadership and proceed to the next level of its development”.
The transaction is subject to clearance by the competent authorities and is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2022.