25 November 2022  |  Frankfurt

DIF invests in large scale fibre rollout in Germany

DIF Capital Partners will acquire a majority stake in ruhrfibre, and fund the buildout of a large scale fibre network in Essen (Germany) targeting around 150,000 households. The project marks a shift in Germany, where the number of urban fibre connections is still low and rollout in larger cities to date has not been attracting substantial private investments. Alongside DIF, the company is formed by project developer metrofibre and the City of Essen.

With DIF, through its DIF CIF III fund, as funding partner, ruhrfibre commits to a large scale fibre rollout throughout Essen. The project is a game changer to the city in the industrial Ruhr-area in terms of its economic advancement and will accelerate Essen’s development into a smart city.

Currently, Germany ranks 34th in terms of fibre penetration with only four OECD countries having a lower rate. This is not just the situation in German rural areas, but also in urban areas like Essen, where currently only 5% of households have a fibre connection.

In Essen, ruhrfibre will develop, construct and operate an urban fibre-to-the-home network that is primarily focusing on connecting private households, as well as public and business customers to high-speed internet. Over the next few years, the company will roll out a network of more than 1,000 km of fibre in the city.

“We firmly believe in the importance of an improved digital infrastructure in the beating heart of the Ruhr-region and helping Essen to become a smart city. For us, it’s an investment that perfectly fits in our CIF fund strategy, which focuses on small to mid-market infrastructure investments, of which the digital infrastructure space is a priority sector,” says Willem Jansonius, partner and head of investments of CIF at DIF Capital Partners.

The completion of the acquisition is subject to antitrust approval.

Earlier this week, DIF announced the expansion of its digital infrastructure team in Europe.

About DIF Capital Partners

DIF Capital Partners is an independent infrastructure fund manager, with more than EUR 15 billion of AUM. DIF was founded in 2005 and has built a leading position in managing mid-market investments, primarily in Europe, North America and Australia.

DIF follows two strategies: its traditional DIF funds invest in lower risk mid-sized infrastructure projects and companies in the energy transition (incl. renewables) and utilities sector, as well as PPPs and concessions. The firm’s CIF funds invest in small to mid-sized companies that will thrive in the new economy. These companies are typically active in the digital, energy transition and sustainable transportation sector.

With a team of over 200 professionals in 11 offices, DIF Capital Partners offers a unique market approach combining global presence with the benefits of strong local networks and investment capabilities. DIF is located in Amsterdam (Schiphol), Frankfurt, Helsinki, London, Luxembourg, Madrid, New York, Paris, Santiago, Sydney and Toronto.

For more information please visit www.dif.eu.


Contact DIF: Diederik Heinink, d.heinink@dif.eu