Syndication of a €1.1bn financing for Vauban Infrastructure Partners and Bouygues Telecom
Crédit Agricole CIB successfully closed the syndication of a €1.1bn financing for SDAIF (Société de Développement pour l’Accès à l’Infrastructure Fibre) - a joint-venture between Vauban Infrastructure Partners (51%) and Bouygues Telecom (49%) to deploy fiber to the home (FTTH) network in medium-dense areas in France.
The financing arranged by Crédit Agricole CIB includes €880 million 20-year capex facilities and is the first fiber deal combining such long maturity and large volume. €400 million have been privately placed to international infrastructure debt investors with the remaining syndicated to commercial banks.
The project - code-named project Asterix - aims at accelerating the roll out of FTTH across medium-dense regions in France. SDAIF will “co-invest” by acquiring long-term access rights (“IRU”) from Orange (in charge of physical roll-out in these areas), and rent them to retail operators, of which Bouygues Telecom as anchor tenant.
This billion-euro project is a key milestone for Vauban Infrastructure Partners becoming one of the largest "digital infrastructure" manager with circa 11 million optical fiber plugs under management and is strategic for Bouygues Telecom to accelerate the deployment of FTTH in France.
Crédit Agricole CIB acted as Sole underwriter, Sole Bookrunner, Financial (debt) Advisor to Vauban, and Facility Agent. The underwriting commitment for binding bids was made on the eve of lockdown on the 13th March 2020 thanks to Crédit Agricole CIB strong expertise in the telecom sector and in depth knowledge of the infrastructure bank and institutional loan market.