The reason is the withdrawal of British investor John Laing from the deployment of FTTH networks in Germany, reports German business magazine Wirtschaftswoche. Through Glasfaser Direkt, the infrastructure investor, which belongs to US private equity group KKR, originally wanted to invest €1 billion in the rollout of fibre-optic networks across Germany, according to the report.
Under the supervision of insolvency administrator Mark Boddenberg from Cologne-based law firm Eckert, Glasfaser Direkt is now looking for a new investor: “We have created the freedom to continue our deployment projects with another investor and to let them grow,” the magazine quotes a spokeswoman for the company: “We are continuing business operations.”
Following the withdrawal of Liberty Global subsidiary helloFiber in January 2023, the move marks the second time that a foreign investor leaves the German FTTH rollout market. helloFiber managing director Christian Böing cited the “changed macroeconomic conditions” as the reasons, referring to inflation, interest rate levels and access to external capital. Further reasons were the rising fibre rollout costs with a shortage of construction capacity and the increasing challenge of attracting communities with suitable characteristics, he added.
Glasfaser Direkt is operating throughout Germany and currently covers 25,000 households in five federal states with its fibre-optic networks.