The Talanx Group is supporting the expansion of fast Internet in France by investing in a fiber optic project. The Group will invest 200 million euros in comprehensive international debt financing amounting to 2.1 billion euros. This increases the total infrastructure investments of the Talanx Group to around 3 billion euros. So far, the Group has focused in particular on investment in wind and solar-energy projects. It is now entering a new class of investment by financing this French fiber-optic cable project.
The company IFT (Investissement dans la Fibre des Territoires S.A.S.) was established specifically to be the lead for this billion-euro project. French telecom service provider Iliad S.A. (49 percent) and infrastructure fund InfraVia Capital (51 percent) are the owners of IFT. IFT intends to use the multi-billion investment to drive forward the expansion of the fiber-optic network in areas which up to now have only had weak to average cover with fast Internet. Preliminary calculations indicate that the new project will equip nearly six million households in France with fiber-optic Internet. Apart from the Talanx Group, international banks and institutional investments are participating in the debt financing.
The project is purely debt financing for the Talanx Group. It acquires bonds with a term of seven years for 200 million euros. “The conditions are right,” commented Peter Brodehser, Head of Infrastructure Investments at Talanx. “The risk-return ratio is attractive and we have reliable partners on board.” Fast Internet is the foundation for digitalization and Brodehser regards this as a growing sector, which could experience additional demand stimulus as a result of the coronavirus. “In Germany, we have also been watching out for projects like this. But unfortunately, the framework conditions have so far not been right in any of the projects we have looked at,” said Peter Brodehser.
As a result of the commitment in France, Talanx is entering a new class of investments for the first time with its infrastructure investments: fiber optics have not been part of the portfolio structure up to now.
The fiber-optic investment is the second infrastructure project that the Talanx Group has successfully completed this year. At the beginning of February, the Group took a stake amounting to 321 million euros in Germany’s biggest offshore wind farm. Two wind power facilities located in the North Sea were combined in a single project under one project bond: “Hohe See” (497 MW) and “Albatros” (112 MW). The wind parks are already in operation and they are both connected to the electricity grid. A total of some 710,000 households can be supplied with electricity.
The investment in France demonstrates that Talanx is consistently pursuing its strategy by continuing to enhance and diversify the proportion of infrastructure investments in the investment portfolio.