e|net, the private company responsible for operating the State owned Metropolitan Area Networks (MANs) fibre optic infrastructure, has been acquired by a consortium of international telco and infrastructure investors, for an undisclosed sum. The consortium comprises Granahan McCourt, Oak Hill Advisors, and the family of Walter Scott Jr. The business has been acquired from previous shareholders, including ACT Venture Capital and e|net founder, Michael Tiernan.
e|net manages and operates the MANs in 94 cities and towns around Ireland. The acquisition will have no impact on e|net’s day to day business operations, e|net’s current management will remain in place and the company’s customers, which include BT, UPC and Vodafone, will not be affected. The MANs continue to remain in State ownership and are operated by e|net under a concession agreement with the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources.
Commenting on the acquisition, David C. McCourt, Chairman and CEO of Granahan McCourt who led the consortium said: “It’s a good time to be investing in Ireland and e|net represents an attractive proposition. The business has a unique model and an experienced team which has successfully driven the development and growth of the business to date. This directly benefits the State as it delivers affordable, state of the art broadband services to towns and cities across Ireland. We see potential to expand and to maximise the MANs and look forward to working with management to realise that aim.”
Conal Henry, CEO of e|net said: “The calibre of the new investors is a testament to e|net’s management of the MANs project to date and to the development potential of the MANs in the future. The new investors are keen to build on e|net’s strong position in the market and expect to invest in backhaul connecting a significant number of MANs towns. Furthermore, the new shareholders have a sophisticated understanding of the MANs and the open-access, carrier-neutral model and are prepared to continue to invest in its development.”