Infracapital invests in rural broadband network

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Infracapital invests in rural broadband network

Prudential has invested up to £20 million (US$31.5 million) in Gigaclear, to fund the roll out of its ultrafast fibre-to-the-premises networks to rural communities in the UK.

The investment is managed by Infracapital, the infrastructure investment arm of Prudential, and builds on the Group's on-going commitment to invest in infrastructure projects that benefit the national economy.

At the same time, Gigaclear's existing shareholder Woodford Investment Management is committing a further £10 million of investment from funds under their management.

Gigaclear brings high quality, fast and reliable broadband connectivity to the UK's rural populationoffering customers speeds up to 1Gbps via fibre optic cable all the way to each property in areas typically underserved by the existing large broadband providers.

The company has already built and operates 23 rural fibre networks, and has a strong pipeline with a further 31 in construction. It targets a market of 1.5 million rural households and businesses across thousands of rural communities seeking ultrafast and reliable broadband.

Gigaclear was advised in this transaction by Cameron Barney LLP.

Ed Clarke, Co-Founder and Director of Infracapital, stated:

"We are delighted to play a role in getting the UK connected. This is a unique opportunity to invest at an early stage in the development of high speed communications infrastructure for the UK's underserved rural population. Gigaclear has enormous growth potential and we look forward to supporting Gigaclear's management team in the build out of fast, high quality broadband connectivity."

Matthew Hare, Chief Executive, Gigaclear, commented:

"Securing this new investment from Prudential and Woodford is a major breakthrough for Gigaclear. The divide between cut-off rural communities and connected towns and cities has never been greater, and we see Prudential and Woodford's investments as a strong endorsement of our business plan to become the largest rural fibre-to-the-premises provider in the UK, bridging that divide by building ultrafast, pure fibre networks. These investments give us the resources needed to accelerate our roll out over the next 24 months to many more communities."

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