The EQT Mid Market and EQT Mid Market Europe funds (together “EQT Mid Market”) have agreed to sell IP-Only (or “the Company”), a Swedish high-growth fiber infrastructure provider for data communications, to the EQT Infrastructure IV fund (or “EQT Infrastructure”). The enterprise value amounts to SEK 18,250 million (EUR 1,7 billion) plus an earn-out of up to SEK 1,000 million (EUR 94 million). The transaction was signed following a competitive auction process with both industry and financial buyers.
EQT Mid Market acquired IP-Only in 2013 when the Company was a focused wholesale and enterprises data communications supplier. Today, IP-Only is a leading provider of mission critical fiber infrastructure, serving both the B2B and B2C segments with a high-capacity, nationwide network and connectivity to the other Nordic countries. From 2013 to 2018, the Company’s revenues increased with a yearly average of 34 percent, from SEK 452 million (EUR 42 million) to SEK 1,940 million (EUR 182 million) and adjusted EBITDA with a yearly average of 39 percent, increased from SEK 180 million (EUR 17 million) to SEK 930 million (EUR 87 million).
During EQT Mid Market’s ownership period, IP-Only has invested some SEK 9 billion (EUR 845 million) to expand its network and execute an ambitious consolidation strategy, including 15 private add-on acquisitions and two buy-outs from Stockholm Stock Exchange. In 2014, IP-Only launched a Fiber-to-the-home (“FTTH”) offering to meet the increasing demand for high-speed internet for households in Sweden. The Company has consequently played an important role in building the digital infrastructure for a connected society able to reach the Sustainable Development Goals. Today, IP-Only is the second largest fiber infrastructure provider in the Swedish FTTH market and the operator with most focus on the rural parts of Sweden.
Frida Westerberg, CEO of IP-Only, commented: “Together with EQT Mid Market, IP-Only has transformed from a local enterprise data communications provider, to a pan-Nordic, B2B and B2C provider of mission critical fiber infrastructure. IP-Only has taken a leading role to contribute to the Swedish Government’s broadband targets, meaning that 98 percent of the Swedish population will have broadband access by the end of 2025. We remain committed to execute on this mission and we now look forward to continuing our growth journey with EQT Infrastructure, leveraging on its deep industry knowledge and solid track-record from developing strong fiber assets.”
Johan Dettel, Partner at EQT Partners and Investment Advisor to EQT Mid Market, commented: “EQT Mid Market is proud of IP-Only’s development journey over the past six years, as they have transformed the fixed telecom infrastructure landscape in Sweden. We are impressed with what has been achieved under the leadership of Frida Westerberg and her team and IP-Only is now well-positioned to take the development to the next level. The Company plays a critical role in the digitalization of Sweden, also including its more rural parts, which is a prerequisite to enable digital inclusion, social progress and sustainable economic growth. IP-Only is an impactful company and defines what private equity is all about by combining investments and risks with significant contribution to the development of society.”
The transaction is expected to close in June 2019.
J.P. Morgan and SEB acted as financial advisors and White & Case as legal advisor to EQT Mid Market.
Johan Dettel, Partner at EQT Partners and Investment Advisor to EQT Mid Market, +46 8 506 55 350
EQT Press Office, firstname.lastname@example.org, +46 8 506 55 334
EQT is a leading investment firm with more than EUR 61 billion in raised capital across 29 funds and around EUR 40 billion in assets under management. EQT funds have portfolio companies in Europe, Asia and the US with total sales of more than EUR 21 billion and approximately 127,000 employees. EQT works with portfolio companies to achieve sustainable growth, operational excellence and market leadership.
More info: www.eqtpartners.com
IP-Only is a leading independent provider of fiber-based data communication and datacenter services in Sweden. IP-Only owns and operates a high-capacity fiber network linking the Nordic capitals as well as Sweden’s second and third largest cities Gothenburg and Malmo.
More info: www.ip-only.se