20 June 2022
Play and InfraVia Capital Partners join forces to provide 6 million Polish homes with fiber broadband connectivity in a new open access wholesale model.
On June 19, 2022 Play Group, a leading fixed, digital television and mobile convergent player in Poland, operating Play and UPC brands, together with InfraVia Capital Partners, a leading independent private equity firm specializing in infrastructure and technology investments, signed an agreement which paves the way for providing access to high-speed connectivity to 6 million homes in Poland, using existing infrastructure and through further significant investments. The network will be available for all telecommunication operators in a wholesale, open-access model.
Upon the preliminary agreement, which is subject to regulatory approval, Infravia Capital Partners will acquire 50% of shares of Play Group’s subsidiary, operating under the name FiberForce, for PLN 1,775 billion. At transaction close, which is currently scheduled for the end of 2022, Play/UPC will transfer its existing HFC and FTTx asset base of 3.7 million homes passed to FiberForce. On top of that, FiberForce seeks to build more than 2 million additional fiber optic connections. FiberForce will make its network infrastructure available to other telecommunications operators (including Play and UPC) in an open and
non-discriminatory access model, to maximize take up of the built infrastructure by consumers.
Jean Marc Harion, CEO Play and UPC: ‘This partnership is yet another milestone to strengthen our nationwide infrastructure leadership, allowing millions of new customers in Poland to benefit from superfast Internet. Due to its open-reach wholesale model, we want to set new standards for broadband connectivity access and secure everyone freedom of choice. We hope this new investment will significantly help narrow the digital gap and deliver even more innovation to the benefit of our customers, society and the economy.’
Vincent Levita, CEO and Founder of InfraVia: ‘We are extremely happy to develop our partnership with iliad Group in this joint-venture with Play Group. This will allow us to build a key asset in a growing sector with a leading partner.’