Ancala Partners (‘Ancala’), the independent mid-market infrastructure investment manager, today announces that it has acquired, through its funds, majority interests in a group of leading Netherlands-based fibre-to-the-office network providers, including Fore Freedom B.V. and Glasvezelgroep Nederland B.V. with the 100% owned labels Fore Freedom, EasyFiber and Solid Fiber Networks.

The acquisition, made through parent company Fore Freedom Holdings B.V., completed on 21st September 2018.

Fore Freedom and Glasvezelgroep Nederland develop, own and operate fibre-to-the-office (FttO) networks in business parks across the Netherlands, providing connections to corporates with speeds of up to a market-leading 1Gbps. The group operates an open-access model, allowing a broad range of internet service providers to operate via the networks, resulting in flexibility and choice for end-subscribers.

The Netherlands has approximately four thousand business parks with a significant number not being connected to broadband fibre networks and relying on slower connectivity technologies. As data demand continues to grow through amongst others increasing use of cloud-based solutions, older technologies are unable to provide the speed and seamless connectivity that fibre networks can offer. As such the FttO market is growing rapidly and is expected to do so over the coming years.

The key founders will maintain an interest in the business, taking responsibility for the roll-out of an expansion plan through developing new networks and providing high speed broadband internet connections to underserviced business areas. Through this acquisition, Ancala will support the business in its strategy of expanding its existing base of networks to become the best-value fibre-to-the-office internet connection provider in the Netherlands.

Vincent Gerritsen, Partner, Ancala Partners, commented:
“Fore Freedom provides a strong platform to provide high-speed broadband fibre connections to underserved business areas. We are impressed with the market-leading FttO platform that its management has established to date and fully support the continued development of new networks to provide superior broadband connectivity and freedom of choice for customers at attractive prices.

“This investment provides great opportunities to realise enhanced returns for our investors by scaling up the existing platform through new network development and consolidation in a fragmented market. We can also optimise operations in line with our investment strategy.”

Edwin de Raadt, Managing Director, Fore Freedom Holdings, commented:
“Ancala Partners is an excellent fit for our business as an active investment partner with deep organisational and operating experience. This partnership will enable us to service the strong demand for new fibre networks and realise our ambition to provide superior high-speed broadband connections to the broader business community.

We look forward to combining our market-leading fibre networks proposition with the financial and operating capabilities of Ancala Partners to provide high-speed, cost-effective and reliable connectivity and freedom of choice to our clients.”


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