National law firm Shoosmiths has advised Amber Infrastructure Group, manager of the National Digital Infrastructure Fund (NDIF), on the fund’s investment which has seen it lead a £25 million funding round into full-fibre internet service provider, Community Fibre.
Community Fibre will use the investment to roll out full-fibre connectivity to a further 100,000 homes by 2019, covering social and private housing estates across London. The NDIF has invested £18 million, while long term investor Railpen is providing £7 million.
Currently, only 3% of UK homes are connected to full-fibre broadband and Community Fibre is targeting social housing as a priority, where enhanced internet connectivity can create new economic opportunities. The funding more than doubles the investment in Community Fibre to date, and marks a significant milestone in supporting the company’s target of connecting 500,000 homes in London with full-fibre by 2022.
Khalid Naqib, senior investment director at Amber Infrastructure Group, said: “We were extremely pleased with Shoosmiths’ service and to have completed this deal, the first we have worked with the firm on. Community Fibre is a hugely attractive company with a valuable mission it is trying to complete. We are sure of a very strong, and long-lasting working relationship with Shoosmiths.”
The NDIF is a commercial fund established in 2017 by Amber Infrastructure Group to invest in the next generation of digital infrastructure in the UK. It is supported by cornerstone investments from the UK Government through its Digital Infrastructure Investment Fund (DIIF) and International Public Partnerships (INPP), a leading listed infrastructure investment company.
Alastair Peet, corporate partner at Shoosmiths, said: “This is an exciting project which will benefit many people, and demonstrates the strength and depth of our national venture capital offering, as well as our telecoms expertise.
“We are thrilled to have completed the first deal with Amber Infrastructure Group – it has been an absolute pleasure working with Khalid and his team.”
Alastair was assisted on the deal by corporate senior associate Sarah Thawley, corporate solicitor Helen Burnell and employment associate Nick Vernon, as well as tax partner Kate Featherstone and tax solicitor James Arnold.
Shoosmiths LLP is one of the most active UK law firms in the area of advanced manufacturing and tech start-ups, acting for founders, investors, funders, and research organisations, which look to the firm for VCT, EIS and SEIS tax advice, IP and commercialisation. Shoosmiths was ‘Highly Commended’ in the EIS Awards 2017. Nationally, the corporate team is ranked in the top four firms for deal volume for the past four years, in the Experian MarketIQ’s M&A Review.
Amber Infrastructure Group, also known as Amber, is a leading international infrastructure specialist, providing asset management and investment advisory services in respect of over £8 billion of assets in the UK, Europe, Australia and North America