Fast access to the internet is a critical factor in the development of a digital economy. The demands for faster broadband are increasing due to the use of internet technology in providing a range of communication services, rapidly increasing volumes of internet video traffic, increasing numbers of smartphone and other mobile devices, the connection of billions of smart objects through the Internet of Things (IoT), and access to applications and data stored remotely in the Cloud. In addition, economists believe that in the past decade, broadband contributed an estimated 20% to the total productivity growth in the European Union (EU) and that next generation high-speed broadband networks are likely to have the same effect. As a result, these networks could add 0.5 - 1.5% to Europe's GDP per year.

Broadband infrastructure investments

CEBF’s strategy is to contribute to the roll-out of the wired and wireless Next Generation Access (NGA) networks and ancillary telecom infrastructures in the European Union, Norway and Iceland through financing of broadband infrastructure investments by helping to attract private investments in digitally-deprived areas. CEBF features a down-side protection with its highly diversified investment strategy in greenfield future-proof infrastructure assets in addition to a large first loss junior equity provided by the European Commission and the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI).

CEBF will invest through financing (mostly strong equity minority positions sought and/or mezzanine/junior debt financing, with a ticket size between €1 million and €30 million) of broadband infrastructure investments technically and economically viable greenfield projects located in grey or white NGA areas (i.e. most often semi-dense or rural areas).

The Fund is the first investment platform to support broadband infrastructure under EFSI, the central pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe.  It is open to the participation of private investors. CEBF responds to the growing demand for financing of smaller-scale broadband projects across Europe, which currently do not have easy access to funding. Support from the Fund will be complementary to other financing currently available on the market through private or private financial institutions and to existing EU financial instruments.

Cube has assembled a fully dedicated and very experienced European telecom team with solid operational and engineering expertise, able to gauge the quality of greenfield opportunities, to evaluate the risk/return profile and to benefit from attractive value-for-price assets with their transactional expertise.