Freedom Fibre Limited and InfraBridge-backed VX UK - two leading alternative networks - have signed an agreement to combine their businesses, with InfraBridge controlling the combined entity following the close of the transaction.
The new business will have a combined footprint of 285,000 and operate as Freedom Fibre Limited, run by Neil McArthur (Freedom Fibre founder and CEO) and the current FFL senior leadership team.
On the agreement, Neil McArthur said:
“This is a strategic merger which leverages the strengths of both Freedom Fibre and VX UK to create a larger, stronger and more diverse business backed by two significant investors with ambitions for growth. We are delighted to be joining forces with the VX team and are hugely excited about the future potential of this newly combined business.”
Both VX UK and Freedom Fibre have a strong regional presence in their respective markets. VX UK has a strong presence in Stoke on Trent and the surrounding areas through its unique contract with Stoke City Council, which provides connectivity for local authority premises, underpinning essential local services. VX UK markets its broadband service to local consumers through its LilaConnect brand, alongside a wholesale offering for local ISPs. VX also has fibre assets in Bristol and Colchester.
Freedom Fibre launched in 2020 and offers wholesale-only services on its network and benefits from a long-term wholesale agreement with TalkTalk, a leading UK broadband provider. Freedom Fibre secured its first Building Digital UK (“BDUK”) gigabit tender earlier this year and during 2023 has begun offering a range of B2B products. TalkTalk has been a minority shareholder since 2021 and will remain a shareholder in the combined business.
Throughout the process, Freedom Fibre were delighted to have had the support of PMP Strategy and other advisors to help conclude this important merger. The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to close by the end of Q1 2024.