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NPIF and Maven VCTs exit fibre network provider

Business Support News
KEN COOPER, British Business Bank

As its approaches its three-year anniversary, the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF) has realised its investment in Chester-based fibre network provider ITS Technology Group (ITS).

NPIF – Maven Equity Finance, part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund invested in 2018 following Maven VCTs original investment in 2017. The funding enabled the business to expand into new geographical locations, as well as to strengthen their sales and operational capabilities.

ITS has been sold to Aviva Investors for an undisclosed amount.

ITS designs, builds and operates full fibre and hybrid networks across the UK, giving business and residential communities access to gigabit capable connectivity.

The company has pioneered a ‘dig once’ model that reuses existing public and private duct infrastructure and it has a number of partnerships with local authorities. This approach reduces the disruption that civils road digs create and accelerates the rollout of full fibre infrastructure. ITS’ networks are ‘open access’, giving wholesale access to internet service providers (ISPs), network and mobile network operators, and IT resellers.

The sale to Aviva Investors generates a positive return for NPIF and Maven VCTs and allows the business to raise significant additional capital to take advantage of further opportunities in the fibre market.

Ken Cooper, Managing Director at British Business Bank said: “The sale of ITS Technology Group Ltd is a significant moment for NPIF. As we approach NPIF’s three year anniversary it is encouraging to see businesses such as ITS entering their next stage of growth. It demonstrates how regionally based funds can make good commercial investments that make a real and measurable difference to businesses and help to create a more prosperous regional economy.”

Daren Baythorpe, CEO of ITS said: “I would like to thank Maven Capital Partners for its support over the last three years. They have provided excellent financial backing, advice and counsel which has helped enable the business to transform into a focussed network operator that is disrupting the full fibre marketplace. It has seen us build a strong business, develop a very capable team, and put us in a great place to start the next phase of our growth.”

Ryan Bevington, Investment Director at Maven, said: “The sale to Aviva Investors is a strategic move for the business and is testament to the quality of the ITS management team. We’re delighted to have played our part in bringing the team together and would like to thank them for their hard work and wish them good luck for the next stage of their journey.”

The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.

Find out more about NPIF here

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