Full fibre group secures further £100m investment to accelerate system roll-out

Daren Baythorpe

Aviva Investors has provider the Chester-based full fibre provider, ITS Technology Group, with £100m of further funding.

The injection will be used to accelerate the roll-out of the group’s Faster Britain full fibre networks.

The system is set to pass 25% of UK business premises by the end of this year.

Since securing a £45m first round of funding from Aviva Investors in early 2020, ITS has significantly increased its network footprint, delivering rich full fibre infrastructure to business-dense areas where there is pent up demand for Gigabit-capable services.

Building on its indirect wholesale model, ITS’s Faster Britain partner programme has also grown substantially, with more than 300 reseller, internet service provider, and managed service provider partners now able to access and provide Faster Britain Gigabit-capable connectivity to end-users.

As a result, ITS has tripled its revenues year on year, and was EBITDA positive in fiscal year 2021, a strong financial position it will build on again this year.

ITS chief executive, Daren Baythorpe, said: “We have made significant progress over the last two years, building a highly skilled team, scalable delivery capabilities, and creating a substantial full fibre footprint.

“This further commitment will enable us to continue to roll-out our open access wholesale digital infrastructure at pace, giving more businesses access to the connectivity solutions they need to underpin their operations.”

He added: “ITS can now connect any business in the UK via our partnerships with key operators and using our own Faster Britain networks which we are continuing to build out across business-dense locations in major towns and cities. We have also invested heavily in developing the systems that allow our partners to easily access high quality full fibre connectivity through our wholesale platform.”

Sean McLachlan, senior director, infrastructure, at Aviva Investors, said: “We are very pleased to continue our relationship with ITS and to support the extended roll-out of its fibre networks across the UK.

“There has been a huge structural shift in data usage in recent years which continues to accelerate, and the continued investment in digital connectivity is fundamental to supporting how society functions today and tomorrow. ITS has made significant progress and outlined a clear vision to address this need.

“Combined with a strong team and expertise, we think this presents a compelling investment opportunity and look forward to working in partnership with them.”

ITS re-uses existing infrastructure, or a ‘dig once’ approach, to build its full fibre networks which avoids the unnecessary disruption of road digs and minimises the impact on local communities.

It says it can install end-user Faster Britain connections quicker than the industry norm, often in days.

Mark Watts and Dave Graham, of Dow Schofield Watts, acted as sole financial advisors on the transaction, RSM as tax advisors, and BDB Pitmans provided legal advice.