News 22 September, 2022

R&M’s Infrastructure business to invest in Spring Fibre

R&M confirms it will invest up to £155 million to support the roll out of Spring Fibre’s ultrafast full fibre broadband network across England.

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Well known as a provider of listed equity investment funds, R&M’s Infrastructure investment business was established in 2021 with the appointment of Aviva Investors’ former Head of Infrastructure Equity, Ian Berry, along with his team, also from Aviva.

R&M’s Infrastructure fund invests in long-life income generating assets with outstanding ESG credentials. The fund targets investments in assets related to energy transition or digital transition.

Spring Fibre was founded in 2019 by an experienced industry management team, Kingsley Capital Partners (backed by family offices and known for its creation of new companies) and telecoms specialist Graphite Strategy. It aims to deliver multi-gigabit capable full fibre-optic infrastructure across England, giving residential and commercial customers next generation access to the internet. Spring Fibre, led by CEO, Ros Singleton, will deploy the company’s network on a wholesale basis, empowering a range of Internet Service Providers to offer connectivity solutions which will cater for all users’ needs.

Through its partnership with R&M, Spring Fibre’s plans are to create a network rising to more than 1 million premises passed over time. Spring Fibre targets areas with poor internet provision and will deliver a major boost to many under-served communities and businesses.

Ian Berry, Head of Infrastructure at River and Mercantile

“As in many countries, we continue to see growing demand for better and faster access to data across the UK. However, the provision of infrastructure is often skewed to larger cities, meaning that many areas of the country remain under-served to the detriment of the people that live, work or operate businesses there. In helping to solve this problem, Spring Fibre’s network will make a significant positive societal impact. From an investment perspective, we consider data infrastructure is a critical asset and investments such as this help us provide reliable, long term income to our clients.”

Rosalind Singleton, CEO, Spring Fibre

“We are delighted to commence this partnership with R&M which shares our vision of building first class sustainable networks and long-lasting relationships. FTTP (fibre to the premises) rollouts across the country are still not matching customer demand or covering enough locations. We are confident we can expand and accelerate access in areas that would benefit most and expect our first homes to be live within the next six months, with many more to follow.”

Neil Mahapatra, Managing Partner, Kingsley Capital Partners

“It’s been fantastic working with Ros as we established Spring. We could not be happier that R&M has invested in the business. Ian and his whole team have been an absolute pleasure to work with on the transaction and are a wonderful partner for the business. We are looking forward to continuing the journey with R&M and Ros in the years to come.”

R&M was advised by Analysys Mason, CMS and PKF Francis Clark; Spring Fibre was advised by Acuity Advisors and Thrings, and Spring Fibre’s founder shareholders were advised by Gateley.

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