The Primevest Communication Infrastructure Fund (PCIF) has acquired the ‘fibre to the curb’ (FttC) network in the northwest German town of Leichlingen, close to Cologne, to deploy high speed optical connections. This is the first such deal with a municipality in Germany, for Primevest Capital Partners which manages PCIF and enables ‘Smart City’ investments in markets across Europe.
PCIF invests in critical telecommuncations infrastructure, which it leases to multiple operating partners, including Vodafone in Germany and T-Mobile in the Netherlands. The Fund has committed to further invest in upgrading Leichlingen to a full FttH network, replacing the last mile of existing copper cables by optical fibre to bring the fibre to the home upon sufficient consumer’s demand.
PCIF’s total investments have risen to €75 million, after the inclusion of the Leichlingen agreement, and the Fund has a further €50 million in outstanding commitments to invest in new projects which are being constructed.
Klaus Leckelt, project manager at Primevest Capital Partners, said: “Germany is Europe’s economic powerhouse, but it lags behind other major economies in the provision of critical communications infrastructure that is required to underpin the growing demand for online commerce, home working and information access. Forward-thinking municipalities such as Leichlingen realise that they have to plug these gaps in their utility, or Stadtwerke, services and become technology-led ‘Smart Cities’ to preserve the prosperity of the local economy for businesses and residents.”
Leckelt added: “Primevest’s buy-and-build strategy supports local Stadtwerke and our telecom operating partners, because our investment interests are aligned in promoting the sustainable growth of these cities. We are a Dutch-German company, backed by responsible institutional investors such as pension funds, which focus on sustainable long-term returns and partnerships.”
The new FttH links will be built by GFS and leased by PCIF to its telecom operating partners, which include Novanetz and NetCologne. The first customers in the Witzhelden district already have a FttH connection and new areas are under development, including Wolfstall, Herscheid, Orth and Krähwinkel. The next phase for Kuhle, Bern and Hölverscheid, will follow before the end of 2020 and then the inner city areas of Leichlingen.
Primevest will coordinate both short-term and future network expansions and upgrades to ensure the infrastructure is optimized for the needs of its telecom operating partners.
Frank Steffes, Mayor of Leichlingen, said: “This agreement creates a solid base for Leichlingen’s Internet broadband coverage. By selling the existing network, we are facilitating the expansion of future-proof broadband connections without burdening the city’s own financial resources. This deal makes us one of the pioneers in the delivery of the latest generation of fibre-optic cables in North Rhine-Westphalia.”
The Primevest Communication Infrastructure Fund was established in 2017 and is backed by German institutional investor capital. It provides residents and businesses in cities access to high-speed broadband, which is now a basic necessity of life. The fund has a target investment volume of €600 million and is open to new investors until Q2 2021. Its focus is on passive communication infrastructure such as fibre-access networks, mobile towers and data centres, to meet the spiraling demand for broadband capacity and to drive the Smart Cities of the future. PCIF works closely together with telecom and cable operators, municipalities and other stakeholders and offers investors a stable cash flow on the basis of long-term lease agreements with network operators.
About Primevest Capital Partners
Primevest Capital Partners is a pan-European investment boutique that specializes in innovative real estate and property investments. Due to the extensive industry knowledge with a focus on specialized investment sectors such as parking, telecommunications and affordable, contemporary living, Primevest Capital Partners has developed into a leading provider in these areas. Our top priority is to achieve attractive risk-adjusted returns for our customers. In doing so, we pay attention to sustainable income and value creation. Primevest Capital Partners currently manages assets of 1.7 billion euros, spread across eight sector-specific funds and three individual institutional mandates. Primevest Capital Partners currently has 40 employees at its locations in Utrecht and Berlin.