Linklaters advises the UK’s largest private pension scheme USS on £295m equity investment in G.Network

Linklaters has advised USS, the UK’s largest private pension scheme by way of assets, on its equity investment of up to £295m over 6 years in G.Network. USS will be a co-controlling shareholder alongside Cube Infrastructure Managers.

Partner David Martin (Mainstream Corporate, London) commented:

 

"The digital infrastructure sector has been a particularly active sector across our network this year, with the growing consumption of data and a move to more agile working, amongst other drivers, creating significant investment opportunities. We’re delighted to conclude the year advising USS, one of the UK’s leading private pension schemes, on its long-term commitment to a key part of London’s digital future."

 

The Linklaters team was led by partners Jessamy Gallagher and David Martin. Key team members included partner Stuart Rowson (Energy & Infrastructure, London) and managing associate Lauren Bretton (Mainstream Corporate, London).

 

G.Network digs streets to install brand new, state-of-the-art, contiguous full fibre broadband infrastructure in London, UK, offering both residential and business customers ultra-fast speeds. The company is building its network on an ‘Open Access’ principle, so that other providers can offer connections to their customers using G.Network infrastructure in the future. G.Network is currently working with eight local authorities and will bring its rollout to a further five, aiming to connect at least 80% of premises in each.

In the next five years, the G.Network plans to dig around 4,500 km of streets, reaching approximately 1.4 million London premises, including many in underserved areas. The rollout is expected to create more than 1,250 new jobs, in addition to the c.a. 250 staff already employed by the company, whilst bringing competitively-priced high speed broadband to residents and businesses.

Linklaters has been involved in some of the digital infrastructure sector’s leading deals for many years and highlights in the UK this year including recently advising CK Hutchison, the Hong Kong based conglomerate, on the €10bn sale of its large portfolio of telecommunications towers assets in Europe to Cellnex, the Spanish telecoms infrastructure company. The firm also advised Arqiva Group Limited on the sale of their telecoms division (towers business) to Cellnex Telecom SA for £2 billion in October 2019.

The remit of the team has widened as the market has grown to incorporate a growing number of digital infrastructure assets, including fibre, data centres and towers.