WIG raises £220m to invest in 5G-ready wireless

Edinburgh-based Wireless Infrastructure Group’s (WIG) said it completed a debt fund raising of £220 million to “accelerate its investments into neutral-host, 5G-ready wireless infrastructure.”

The new funding package involves three global institutional investors — Met Life, Barings and Vantage –together with three UK banks — Lloyds, Royal Bank of Scotland and Barclays.

The facilities extend to 12 years and provide WIG with capital for its long-term investment horizon.

“The new facilities support a significant increase in WIG’s capital expenditure into enabling connectivity in rural and urban areas together with key transport routes across the UK,” said WIG.

“Over the last year WIG has invested in new infrastructure ranging from communication towers serving rural communities through to high capacity Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS) networks in busy city locations such as offices, shopping malls and stadiums, including Liverpool FC’s 54,000 capacity Anfield Stadium.”

WIG was advised by Rothschild, Clifford Chance, Dickson Minto and PwC.

The banking group was advised by Allen & Overy.

WIG CEO Scott Coates said: “This new capital raise from blue chip institutions has been structured to expand with our growth and enables WIG to operate with a highly competitive cost of capital.

“The new facilities will be targeted on fibre and small cells to enable better connectivity both inside buildings where 80% of calls are made and along busy city streets.

“Attracting investment with a long-term horizon and neutral-host approach can play a significant role in enabling 5G across the UK.

“Recent policy initiatives announced in government’s Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review around lightly licensed spectrum and other innovations opens doors for companies like WIG to work with our mobile operator partners to unlock faster investment and enable improved mobile connectivity.”