Toob raises £75 million from Amber Infrastructure to fund initial full fibre broadband roll out

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25 March 2019

  • toob will roll out gigabit-capable, fibre network to more than 100,000 premises by the end of 2021
  • Backed by Amber Infrastructure with £75 million of initial funding
  • Highly experienced management team strengthened by appointment of Charles McGregor as Chairman

toob, a full fibre broadband provider, will deliver gigabit broadband speeds to more than 100,000 premises by the end of 2021, with an ambition to expand its full fibre network to pass more than one million homes and business premises over the next ten years.

toob, which is based in Portsmouth, has secured a £75 million funding package from Amber Infrastructure Group’s National Digital Infrastructure Fund (‘NDIF’).  NDIF’s majority investment will support toob’s build out of a gigabit-capable, fibre network which will benefit consumers, businesses and public services in towns and cities across the UK.

toob was founded and is led by Nick Parbutt (CEO) and Mike Banwell (CFO), former Directors at Vodafone UK. The highly experienced management team will be strengthened with the appointment of Charles McGregor who has joined as Chairman. Charles brings extensive experience of fibre and successfully growing businesses, having recently served as the Chairman of Gigaclear for five years. He was previously the founder and CEO of Fibernet.

toob will deploy the latest fibre technology over existing infrastructure as often as it can to increase the speed of its roll out and reduce community disruption. toob expects to be a major customer of Openreach’s improved ducts and pole access (PIA) product, which becomes fully available at the beginning of April this year.  

Nick Parbutt, toob’s CEO, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Amber Infrastructure and to have secured Charles as Chairman. toob now has the right people, the right plan and the right funding in place to capitalise on the exciting opportunity ahead of us. We want to enable families, businesses and communities to live, work and play in ways which are only made possible with the advent of gigabit broadband.”

Charles McGregor, toob’s Chairman, said: “I’m excited to be joining toob.  I have been involved in fibre businesses for over 30 years and I believe that Nick and his team will deliver on the exciting strategy announced today.” 

Chris Hogg, Investment Director, Amber Infrastructure, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with such an experienced team at toob. Nick, Mike, Charles and the team at toob have extensive telecoms and fibre experience and we are looking forward to accelerating toob’s fibre network deployment with our funding.”

Jonathan Oxley, Ofcom’s Competition Group Director, said: “The amount of internet data used by people in the UK is growing by around half every year. So we’ll increasingly need full-fibre broadband services like this to provide faster, more reliable connections and capacity to our homes and offices. These plans are another example of full-fibre being used to build broadband that can support the UK’s digital future.”

Matthew Vickerstaff, Interim Chief Executive Officer, Infrastructure and Projects Authority, said: “This investment shows how the National Digital Infrastructure Fund continues to help companies improve broadband speeds across cities and towns in the UK, by increasing their access to private finance.  Upgrading our digital infrastructure to be reliable, sustainable and resilient is key to meeting the needs of an increasingly digital world, and increasing our productivity.”

For further information:

Amber InfrastructureErica Sibree+44 (0)20 7939 0558[email protected] toobPatrick Toyne-Sewell+44 (0) 7767 498 195[email protected]

Notes to Editors:

The National Digital Infrastructure Fund (NDIF) is managed by Amber Infrastructure Group (Amber), and targets investments in core digital infrastructure in the UK on a fully commercial basis. NDIF benefits from a cornerstone commitment from the UK Government’s Digital Infrastructure Investment Fund (DIIF) initiative, match-funded by private investors. NDIF reached its first close in July 2017, with further fundraising expected later this year.

NDIF forms part of the UK Government’s landmark DIIF, a £400 million government initiative to accelerate investment into fibre-optic based broadband networks and related businesses to build the next generation of digital networks and accelerate the rollout of ultrafast connectivity across the UK.

Amber Infrastructure Group

Amber Infrastructure Group is a leading international infrastructure specialist, providing asset management and investment advisory services in respect of over £8 billion of assets in the UK, Europe, Australia and North America. Amber’s core business focuses on sourcing, developing, advising on, investing in and managing infrastructure assets within the utilities, digital, social infrastructure, transport, renewable energy and regeneration sectors.

Amber provides investment advisory services to International Public Partnerships Limited as well as private investment funds, specialising in infrastructure, urban regeneration and energy efficiency. Amber is headquartered in London with offices in Munich, Edinburgh, Sydney, Melbourne, New York and San Francisco and employs over 120 people, making it one of the largest international infrastructure specialists.

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Manoj Ranaweera

Manoj has founded, failed and successfully exited from a number of technology product companies as well as support organisations since 2004. Among them, Northern Tech Awards and were acquired by GP Bullhound and Accusoft, Inc respectively. Today, Manoj is building a trusted support network for technology companies. He is working with founding teams to help them accelerate including raising investment and M&A.

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