Stirling Square Capital Partners sells Metroweb to F2i

Stirling Square Capital Partners sells Metroweb to F2i

Market diversification and excellent service quality have driven consistent growth and profitability

LONDON, 31 May, 2011 – Stirling Square Capital Partners (“Stirling Square”), the pan-European private equity firm, today announces that it has signed an agreement to sell its majority interest in Metroweb S.p.A. (“Metroweb” or the “Company”), the owner and manager of the fibre-optic network extending across the metropolitan area of Milan, to F2i, a leading Italian infrastructure fund.

Stirling Square acquired its stake in Metroweb in October 2006 from A2A S.p.A. (“A2A”) (Milan Bourse: A2), which retained a minority interest in the Company. Since then Stirling Square has worked closely with A2A and supported the management team in the delivery of Metroweb’s development plans. Under Stirling Square control, annual revenues and EBITDA have grown 25% and 50% respectively.

Metroweb provides dark fibre connectivity to telecoms operators, corporations, governmental institutions and digital and multimedia distributors. The Metroweb network covers a territory with more than 2.7 million inhabitants and consists of 7,254 km of cables, corresponding to approximately 324,000 km of fibre and 3,272 km of infrastructure and connections to business and residential sites.

Established in 1997 and headquartered in Milan, Italy, Metroweb owns, maintains and manages one of the largest metropolitan access fibre-optic networks in Europe. The management team is led by Chief Executive Officer Alberto Trondoli, a founder of the Company, and Moreno Grassi, Chief Operating Officer, who has been instrumental in developing the Company more recently. Shortly after Stirling Square invested in the Company in 2006, the management team was strengthened with the appointment of Mirko Prato as Chief Financial Officer.

Following Stirling Square’s acquisition, significant capital investment has increased the size of the network, moved access from the curb to the building (the ‘last mile’) and improved service quality. Milan now has the highest broadband penetration rates in Italy with 108,000 businesses (58%) and 342,000 residences (52%) accessing the network. As a result, the metropolitan area of Milan has the infrastructure in place to meet its broadband needs for the foreseeable future. With the phase out of Milan’s copper network targeted to begin before EXPO 2015, broadband access will be primarily supported by Metroweb’s fibre-optic network from then on.

Stefano Bonfiglio, a Partner at Stirling Square, said: “We are proud to have established Metroweb as an independent fibre infrastructure provider, delivering best-in-class technologies and services to its customers. The Company has grown to a position of strength over the past five years, which is testament to the dedication of the management team and to Stirling Square’s value creation drive.

Metroweb is highly representative of our core investment strategy which is to target companies with unique capabilities and long-term defensible market positions that offer potential for transformational change. Our gratitude goes to everyone we have worked with at Metroweb over the past few years; we wish them the very best for their future success.”

Alberto Trondoli, CEO of Metroweb, said: “Stirling Square has provided consistent and valuable support throughout their period of ownership. We have been able to invest in the network and diversify our product offering and customer base, improve coverage and service quality, and thereby position the Company for future success. I look forward to working with F2i to build upon the achievements of the past five years.”

Advisers to Stirling Square Capital Partners:
Financial: Lazard & Co. and Black Rhino Capital
Legal: Pavia e Ansaldo

Vendor Due Diligence Providers:
Legal: Pavia e Ansaldo
Accounting: PwC
Tax: Studio Colacicco

Telecom Italia accordo con Metroweb per lo sviluppo della rete in fibra ottica a Milano

Telecom Italia accordo con Metroweb per lo sviluppo della rete in fibra ottica a Milano

L’intesa a alla base del progetto di Telecom Italia grazie a! quale saranno collegati in fibra ottica 70.000 edifici nella citta di Milano e in alcune aree limitrofe e rientra nella strategia di sviluppo delta rete di nuova generazione

Milano, 30 maggio 2007 - Telecom Italia ha siglato un accordo con Metroweb per lo sviluppo della rete in fibra ottica sul territorio di Milano. Grazie all’accordo Telecom Italia raggiungera 70.000 edifici avvalendosi anche dell’infrastruttura di rete di Metroweb.

II contratto, the prevede investimenti per circa 50 milioni di Euro e it diritto d’uso dell’infrastruttura per 15 anni (rinnovabile per ulteriori 15) si inserisce net progetto di sviluppo della rete di nuova generazione a banda larga (NGN2) di Telecom Italia, it cui piano, avviato a partire dalla citta di Milano, prevede la copertura progressiva della popolazione sul territorio nazionale.

In particolare, in base all’accordo, Telecom Italia potra utilizzare oltre alle proprie infrastrutture anche quelle in fibra ottica messe a disposizione da Metroweb per la realizzazione di una rete di apparati posti all’interno degli edifici che consentira l’accesso ultra broadband VDSL2 con una capacity trasmissiva fino a 50 megabits in grado di supportare l’offerta di servizi evoluti.

L’intesa siglata con Metroweb, che dispone gia di una estesa e capillare rete di cavi ottici su tutto it territorio di Milano, consentira a Telecom Italia di ridurre i tempi di realizzazione degli impianti, limitare al minimo 1’impatto delle opere civili e valorizzare al massimo I’investimento,
Telecom Italia
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Stirling Square backs MBI of Metroweb S.p.A from Italy’s AEM S.p.A

Stirling Square backs MBI of Metroweb S.p.A from Italy’s AEM S.p.A

London / Milan, 3rd August 2006. Stirling Square Capital Partners (“Stirling Square”), the pan-European private equity firm, is pleased to announce that it has executed a definitive agreement to acquire Metroweb S.p.A. (“Metroweb” or the “Company”) from Milan-based utility AEM S.p.A. (Milan Stock Exchange: AEM). Stirling Square is backing a team of experienced telecom managers in the MBI of Metroweb, which is valued in excess of €230 million. AEM will retain a 23.5% stake in the business.

Metroweb is a 3,200 km fibre optics network spanning every street in Metro Milan and selected backbone routes throughout Northern Italy. The Company rents its network to telecom operators that offer services to retail clients and corporations that require infrastructure for their captive telecommunication needs. Metroweb’s network was largely built between 1998 and 2004, and results from a joint venture between AEM and e.Biscom S.p.A., the predecessor of Fastweb S.p.A. (Milan Stock Exchange: FWB). AEM acquired 100% of Metroweb in 2003 as part of its exit from the joint venture with FWB; the latter remains Metroweb’s largest customer. On 31st December 2005 Metroweb employed 28 people.

The MBI Team is led by Alberto Trondoli and consists of former senior managers of both FWB and Metroweb who are very familiar with the Company’s business and the international telecoms sector at large. The MBI Team plans to capitalize on their knowledge of current ICT trends and expand Metroweb’s potential by targeting new user segments whilst ensuring seamless service continuity for existing customers. The MBI Team also plans to enhance the value of Metroweb’s network to the Milanese community, with product offerings targeted at private and public bodies that provide services of public utility.

Stefano Bonfiglio and Gregorio Napoleone, partners at Stirling Square, said, “We are enthusiastic at the prospects of partnering with AEM, the MBI Team and Metroweb’s stakeholders, with a view to steering the Company through its next phase of development. We look forward to contributing new entrepreneurial spirit to Metroweb and participate to the technological upgrading of Milan, the city where we were both raised. This deal is a classic example of the situations that Stirling Square targets for investment, where we can combine local and international perspectives to value creation.”

Alberto Trondoli, future CEO of Metroweb, added, “I am delighted to be re-joining Metroweb, a business with which I have had a close involvement over the years. The telecoms industry in Italy has been growing at a healthy pace over the last decade and is expected to continue to grow due to increasing demand for voice, data, internet and other interactive services. We see great development opportunities in the future for a pro-active Metroweb.”

The transaction is being financed by ING Bank NV. Stirling Square has been assisted by law firms Pavia & Ansaldo and Clifford Chance, AEM by Chiomenti Studio Legale, and ING by Ashurst.