According to Hargreaves Lansdown, the UK’s number one platform for private investors, Digital 9 Infrastructure announced plans to list its shares and then buy Aqua Comms as its first investment. Aqua Comms' major assests include transatlantic subsea cables AEC-1 and AEC-2 and other network assets in Europe. The transaction would be $215m (£155m) on a cash-free, debt-free basis.
Digital 9 Infrastructure is a newly formed investment trust, managed by Triple Point Investment Management LLP ("Triple Point"), an experienced manager with over £1.8 billion of private, institutional, and public capital and has extensive experience in asset and project finance, portfolio management and structured investments. It is targeting a 10% annual return and a 6% dividend yield. It said returns would be supported by rising demand for the internet from consumers and businesses that requires faster connectivity.
Digital 9 Infrastructure is chaired by Jack Waters, formerly COO at Zayo Group and CTO at Level 3.
Digital 9 Infrastructure said it would pay $215m (£155m) for Aqua Comms on a cash-free, debt-free basis. Digital 9 Infrastructure plans to raise £400m by selling shares at £1 each in an IPO on the London Stock Exchange. Aqua Comms will make up about 30% of the company's gross asset value after the IPO.
Aqua Comms, a Dublin-based company, is the owner and operator of transatlantic subsea cables America Europe Connect-1 (AEC-1) and America Europe Connect-2 (AEC-2), and intra-Europe subsea cable CeltixConnect-1 (CC-1). Aqua Comms is further developing CC-2, a new Irish Sea cable and North Sea Connect, connecting the UK and Denmark. Aqua Comms' AEC-2 comprises two transatlantic fiber pairs on the Havfrue cable system, while AEC-1 is privately owned by Aqua Comms, with four transatlantic fiber pairs. Aqua Comms operates as a carriers’ carrier and its FOCUS – Fibre Optic Cables Under the Sea is on providing high-bandwidth, transport-layer subsea services, and only in the Wholesale market.