ITS chief executive Daren Baythorpe: 'This further commitment will enable us to continue to rollout our open access wholesale digital infrastructure at pace'. Credit: via DJLS Consulting

Aviva invests £100m in ITS

The funds will go towards enabling Chester-based ITS Technology Group to roll out its Faster Britain wholesale full fibre networks to more areas than ever before.

Aviva Investors had already contributed £45m to ITS’s Faster Britain scheme in early 2020.

Faster Britain centres on building up the full fibre infrastructure in areas filled with commercial development. These areas often require more Gigabit-capable connections.

In order to do this in a sustainable manner, ITS reuses existing infrastructure to build its networks. The company tries to ‘dig once,’ and thus minimise the impact its work has on nearby communities. ITS also uses XGS-PON technology on all of its networks, which allows the company to remotely scale its offering from broadband up to ethernet-leased lines.

Since 2020, ITS has grown its Faster Britain initiative to include more than 300 reseller, internet service provider and managed service provider partners. This has, in turn, led to the tripling of ITS’s revenues year after year. The company was designated as profitable at an operating level for the 2021 financial year.

“We have made significant progress over the last two years, building a highly skilled team, scalable delivery capabilities, and creating a substantial full fibre footprint,” said ITS chief executive Daren Baythorpe.

“This further commitment will enable us to continue to roll out our open-access wholesale digital infrastructure at pace, giving more businesses access to the connectivity solutions they need to underpin their operations,” he continued.

Dow Schofield Watts acted as the sole financial advisor on the £100m transactions between Aviva and ITS. RSM was the tax advisor on the deal, while BDB Pitmans LLP provided legal advice.

“We are very pleased to continue our relationship with ITS and to support the extended rollout of its fibre networks across the UK,” said Aviva senior director of infrastructure, Sean McLachlan.

“There has been a huge structural shift in data usage in recent years which continues to accelerate, and the continued investment in digital connectivity is fundamental to supporting how society functions today and tomorrow,” McLachlan continued.

“ITS has made significant progress and outlined a clear vision to address this need. Combined with a strong team and expertise, we think this presents a compelling investment opportunity and look forward to working in partnership with them.”

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