Gresham House invests GBP63m into UK full-stack high-speed internet provider

Gresham House, a specialist alternative asset manager, has invested GBP63 million into full-stack UK internet service provider Telcom Group through its British Strategic Investment Fund (BSIF).

The commitment will enable Manchester-based Telcom Group to accelerate its delivery of ultrafast and reliable fibre connectivity to commercial and residential properties across the UK, underpinned by its own network infrastructure. Outside Manchester, the group’s focus will be on building fibre networks in key Northern and Midlands powerhouse cities.
BSIF was established to invest specifically in the sustainable infrastructure and housing sectors, both identified by the UK government as structurally important areas requiring local investment. As a closed-ended fund with a 12-year time horizon, BSIF invests with a long-term view into these important sectors.

Telcom Group was established in 2014 and operates three brands – Telcom, which provides ultrafast internet to commercial properties, ClearFibre, which delivers ultrafast internet to residential properties, and WeFibre, which provides low cost fibre connectivity to social housing and rural housing developments. The group also owns full-fibre infrastructure via Telcom Infrastructure and infrastructure services through Pioneer.
Stevie Ingamells, associate director, sustainable infrastructure, who led the deal for Gresham House, says: “The Telcom team has impressed us with its customer-driven approach to delivering high-quality fibre service to both commercial and residential settings. The business’ repeat customer base demonstrates its expertise in providing gigabit connectivity where and when needed, and will allow our investors to benefit from a reliable recurring revenue stream.”
Peter Bachmann, managing director, sustainable infrastructure at Gresham House and BSIF fund manager, adds: “Telcom’s ‘full-stack’ approach is highly differentiated, as it offers customers a genuinely bespoke, technology-driven broadband service. As Telcom looks to expand its coverage, this should appeal to the many British businesses relying on good connectivity to operate efficiently.
“Given its urban and multiple-dwelling unit focus, the addition of Telcom to the Gresham House family of broadband providers also compliments our investments in rural broadband providers and contributes to our wider push for greater digital inclusion across the UK. Reliable high-speed broadband infrastructure is necessary to power the British economy and enable increased social inclusion – through remote learning and working, and tele-health.”
Christopher Baldock, Telcom Group’s chairman, comments: “The board of Telcom is delighted to be working with Gresham House in what is a pivotal moment in the company’s evolution, as it will enable the acceleration of our planned roll-out of high-speed connectivity across all of our target markets.”

Shaun Gibson, Telcom Group co-founder and chief executive officer, says: “The Gresham House investment comes after a period of hard work by the management team and board in structuring the company for a period of high-level sustained growth. This is a tremendously exciting time for Telcom employees and shareholders, as we continue building our great company for the long term and obsessing over our customers.”    
“The investment allows us to scale up our unique full-stack platform, while accelerating our mission to create a more connected world by building full-fibre networks, reducing costs, and empowering communities.”
Corporate finance firm Oakley Advisory and law firm Gunnercooke advised Telcom Group on the deal. Finance and tax consultancy RSM UK, management consultancy Analysys Mason and law firm Shoosmiths advised Gresham House.