Gigaclear

An M&G Investments case study

We believe Gigaclear is a socially committed firm with high growth potential that can deliver attractive long-term returns*

In 2015 Infracapital invested £47 million in Gigaclear, a firm providing ultrafast fibre optic broadband networks for the UK’s underserved rural communities. The firm has already reached 10,000 homes and businesses and offers connection speeds up to 50 times faster than the national average.

Gigaclear is backed by UK government grants and operates in a tightly regulated environment so adheres to high standards of corporate practice. It is registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office, which upholds information rights in the public interest. The company is an early stage of its development, but benefits from an experienced management team and as it continues to grow we anticipate that it will draw on our asset management experience to implement the highest standards of governance and transparency.

We believe strong corporate governance is at the heart of a fast-growing company’s long-term success and we have negotiated the right to appoint a representative on Gigaclear’s board to influence all matters, including ESG. The company now also adopts a dedicated policy of employee diversity.

Businesses increasingly expect to communicate and serve customers in a digital space. Gigaclear is bridging the gap between rural and urban internet access, addressing the growing needs in rural communities for a reliable communications infrastructure that can support consumers, local businesses and local economies.

Gigaclear plays an important social role by empowering rural businesses such as Oxfordshire-based cloud software company Webexpenses, whose workforce is now able to operate more effectively, enabled by robust connectivity and seamless access to web-based tools.

Our investment has accelerated the build of more than 30 new networks and helped Gigaclear to significantly expand its market coverage. Internet traffic is expected to increase by 27% per year to 2019 (click here) and Gigaclear offers many communities the only solution to poor connectivity. We believe this is a socially committed firm with high growth potential that can deliver attractive long-term returns*.

* The views expressed in this document should not be taken as a recommendation, advice or forecast.