KKR-led group connects to Norwegian broadband; UK M&A shakes off wider market woes

Telenor Fiber AS, the newly established unit, is a subsidiary of Telenor and it will own the passive fibre assets in Norway.

Good morning Eurohubsters, Craig McGlashan here with Tuesday’s Dealflow.

I’d taken yesterday off as a holiday but any sense of relaxation quickly disappeared this morning as I read that the Bank of England has again had to step in to shore up the UK’s government bond market. But while there’s turmoil in the wider UK market, the country still has plenty of private equity deals going through.

Making the connection. First though, the biggest deal we’ve covered so far this week was based in Norway.

Telenor announced that it has sold a 30% stake in its Norwegian fibre broadband unit to a consortium led by KKR, for around Nkr10.8 billion ($1 billion; €1 billion). The consortium includes Oslo Pensjonsforsikring as a co-investor.

The sale price gave an enterprise value for the Norwegian fibre business of Nkr36.1 billion. The business generated a proforma EBITDA of Nkr1.7 billion last year.

Telenor is a state-owned multinational telecommunications company headquartered in Fornebu, Norway. Telenor Fiber AS, the newly established unit, is a subsidiary of Telenor and it will own the passive fibre assets in Norway. These assets include 130,000 km of cables, connecting upwards of 560,000 homes. The company’s assets will be transferred from Telenor Norway in a demerger process prior to completion of the transaction, expected to close in early 2023.

Telenor intends to use parts of the proceeds for share buybacks to mitigate the effects of the new minority interests.

“We are very excited to be investing long-term capital behind Norwegian infrastructure,” said Julian Barratt-Due, director, European infrastructure at KKR. “KKR has significant experience within telecom infrastructure investing, and we look forward to supporting Telenor with its fibre strategy in Norway.”

KKR, headquartered in New York, made the investment through its Core Infrastructure strategy.

Oslo Pensjonsforsikring is a life insurance company wholly owned by the Municipality of Oslo.

Managing a deal. Switching back to the UK, Graphite Capital announced it has agreed to back the management buyout of Digital Space from Horizon Capital.

Headquartered in Newark-on-Trent in the UK, Digital Space provides a cloud managed service and uses its own datacentres, core network and network operations centre. The company has 5,700 customers across the retail, financial and professional services, manufacturing and construction, hospitality and leisure sectors.

London-based Horizon acquired Digital Space in 2017. During the ownership period, the company completed four strategic acquisitions. In 2021, the company rebranded from Timico to Digital Space.

“Digital Space has the potential to be a highly differentiated player in this growing and resilient market, driven by high-quality provision of critical services to private and public sector organisations in the UK,” said Humphrey Baker, senior partner at Graphite Capital.

Check out our coverage of the deal for revenue info on Digital Space.

Healthy impact. Palatine announced a “significant” investment in digital healthcare services provider Redmoor Health.

Based in Chorley in the UK, Redmoor Health is a digital technology service provider, partnered with the NHS. It provides a range of digital transformation services from design and project management to implementation and analytics.

The investment in Redmoor the final investment from Manchester-headquartered Palatine’s first Impact Fund, created to invest in companies tackling issues such as inequalities in education and jobs across UK regions, access to healthcare and climate change. According to Palatine, the firm is the first UK mid-market private equity house to raise a dedicated returns focused impact fund.

The digitisation of healthcare was a big topic at the HPE Europe conference we attended a couple of weeks ago. Check out Nina Lindholm’s coverage of the event here.

Automated. Leadec, a Triton Partners portfolio company, announced the acquisition of Elmleigh Electrical Systems. Elmleigh provides process automation and systems integration for operators in the food and beverage and parcel distribution sectors throughout Europe.

The company’s services include electrical and mechanical installations, control panel assembly, project management, design, software, and control cabinet fabrication. Elmleigh is based in Hinckley, England.

Stuttgart-based Leadec, acquired by Triton Fund IV in August 2016, is a global service specialist for factories. The service provider employs about 20,000 people worldwide and is based at more than 300 sites.

Triton Partners, the London-headquartered private equity firm, has a portfolio of 49 companies.

Find out more about Leadec’s sales figures in our coverage of the deal.

Data play. STAR Capital announced it has reached an agreement to sell Datacenter One (DC1) to AtlasEdge, a pan-European data centre provider.

DC1, formerly known as Globalways AG, is a colocation provider headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany. The company, founded in 2016 operates datacentres in Düsseldorf, Leverkusen and Stuttgart.

The London-based STAR acquired a majority stake in DC1 in August 2016, with an initial commitment, made in partnership with the founders, of approximately €60 million, with the intention to grow DC1 into the German regional market.

AtlasEdge is a London-based edge data centre business, with a portfolio of more than 100 sites across Europe.

That’s it from me – I’ll be back with you tomorrow.