Altice Europe has announced the launch of Fastfiber, a new wholesale fiber division, which was devised in a collaboration with Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners, making it a part owner.
Altice Europe has stated that Fastfiber, previously referred to as Altice Portugal FTTH, was one of the largest FTTH (fiber to the home) wholesalers within the country, adding that around 400 million homes passed at the end of 2019. This new division is going to include all of the dark fiber and FTTH assets that belonged to Altice Portugal.
Depending on the performance of Fastfiber, Morgan Stanley will be expected to contribute a further €375 million at the end of 2021 and 2026. This brings the transaction between the two companies to value Fastfiber at around $4.9 billion.
Fastfiber is expected provide all operators with wholesale services under the same financial terms as Altice Portugal FTTH. In addition to this, MEO will be expected to sell technical services to them in order to ensure efficient maintenance, construction and subscriber connections to the fiber network itself.
The deal was officially announced in December 2019 to which Patrick Drahi, founder of Altice, said, “This fantastic transaction with our long-standing partners at Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners will accelerate the deleveraging of the group towards its stated leverage target. It will open the way to significant refinancing transactions in 2020 enabling us to accelerate our announced programme of debt interest reduction (target of €0.7 billion annual savings).”
Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners and Altice Europe have collaborated before. In fact, in mid-2018 Altice sold a 75 percent stake in its towers to a consortium which actually included Morgan Stanley, among others, through PT Portugal (previously known as Telecom Portugal), in a deal to place Towers of Portugal (ToP) unit at an enterprise value of €660 million.