Fibre-optic challenger Deutsche Glasfaser lines up 1.8 billion euros in credit

BERLIN (Reuters) - Deutsche Glasfaser said on Tuesday it had boosted its borrowing capacity to 1.8 billion euros (£1.5 billion) as the German fibre-optic network company controlled by KKR KKR.N plans further investments in its network.

The facility provided by a 16-bank consortium nearly trebles Deutsche Glasfaser’s borrowing capacity, with a fixed volume of 1.4 billion euros that can be increased by a further 400 million euros, the company said in a statement.

Deutsche Glasfaser, controlled by KKR since 2015, says it has been the German market leader since 2018. It has laid 630,000 fibre-optic connections to homes in 400 municipalities and serves more than 5,000 businesses.

Among the lenders were Dutch banks ABN Amro ABNd.AS and ING INGA.AS, which had already backed Deutsche Glasfaser, as well as Germany's KfW industrial development agency, Boersen-Zeitung quoted Chief Financial Officer Jens Mueller as saying.

Deutsche Glasfaser is one of a handful of independent companies laying super-fast fibre connections to homes and businesses in Europe’s largest economy, in a ramp-up phase that industry players say is likely to lead to consolidation.

Competitor Inexio was sold last September for around $1.1 billion to Swedish infrastructure investor EQT EQTAB.ST.

Deutsche Glasfaser, based in the western German town of Borken, had also been the focus of sale speculation and it was not immediately clear whether the latest debt funding meant that KKR was no longer exploring that option.

A company spokesman declined to comment on the sale process that KKR initiated for Deutsche Glasfaser last year.

Reporting by Douglas Busvine; Editing by Michelle Martin