Funds managed by Northleaf Capital Partners, a Toronto-headquartered global private markets investment firm, completed the acquisition of a majority share in QCL Holdings Ltd, a holding company of Yorkshire-based broadband provider Quickline Communications Ltd.
Quickline’s management team, as well as Bigblu Broadband and Harwood Capital have retained minority stakes in the company.
Sean Royce, Quickline’s newly appointed CEO, said, “Receiving this kind of investment from Northleaf provides us with the ability to supply life-changing gigabit-capable broadband to hundreds of thousands of rural customers that previously were unable to access the internet at speed. We look forward to working alongside Northleaf to create this unique hybrid next-generation network, provide hundreds of jobs and build a business that provides new breakthroughs in internet connectivity for broadband users in remote pockets of the UK.”
Roderick Gadsby, head of Northleaf’s infrastructure activities in the UK and Europe, said, “We are delighted that the acquisition has been successfully completed. Quickline is an excellent fit with our communications infrastructure investment strategy and offers our investors exposure to an attractive and growing sector. The evolution of the industry is being led by the likes of Quickline, which has experienced rapid growth in recent years. Quickline plans to utilize both full fibre and 5G fixed wireless technologies to accelerate the deployment of gigabit-capable broadband in remote UK regions which will provide critical infrastructure to rural communities in its target markets.”
Digital infrastructure minister Matt Warman said, “I welcome this substantial investment in Quickline. It will help us build back better by connecting more than half a million rural homes and businesses to top-of-the-range broadband speeds by 2025. Boosting connections in rural communities is crucial to our plans to level up Britain, and we’re working alongside commercial providers to plug in hard-to-reach homes and businesses through our £5 billion Project Gigabit scheme.”