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5th Oct

EMC Corporate Finance acted as sole Lead Adviser to the Shareholders and Directors of Sussex based hyperfast Full Fibre network installer Lightning Fibre.

Foresight Group LLP (“Foresight”), a leading infrastructure and private equity investment manager has completed a long-term financing agreement with Lightning Fibre, a Sussex based, community minded Full Fibre network provider.

Foresight’s investment will accelerate the development of Lightning Fibre’s Fibre-to-the-Premises (“FTTP”) network in East Sussex, starting with the coastal towns of Eastbourne and Hastings.  Lightning Fibre will build, install and operate new Full Fibre infrastructure across the region, delivering hyperfast broadband today of up to 1Gbps to over 100,000 homes and businesses currently served by ageing copper infrastructure. Its fast expanding network is already established in Eastbourne and will help meet the rapidly increasing data consumption demands of consumers and businesses.

The EMC team was led by Ross Christie and Ryan Smith, acting on behalf of Ben Ferriman, Managing Director of Lightning Fibre, the Directors and Shareholders. Helen Downie, Senior Investment Manager, led the Foresight Team.

Helen Downie, Senior Investment Manager at Foresight commented: “We are impressed by the ambition of the management team and the progress Lightning Fibre has already made in bringing hyperfast broadband connectivity to businesses and homes in East Sussex.  EMC led a competitive process, which had additional challenges created by undergoing a complex transaction during the Covid-19 pandemic and we are delighted to have completed the transaction in order to support the future infrastructure development of UK plc.”

Ben Ferriman, Chief Executive Officer of Lightning Fibre added: “We first engaged with EMC in 2018. They led a full process, supporting us with the presentation of our vision to accelerate our Fibre-to-the-Premises network in East Sussex. Throughout the process they demonstrated their knowledge and skill in articulating, negotiating and explaining complex matters. EMC has a background of being business people who are dealmakers and this showed throughout.”

Ryan Smith, Director of EMC continued “Working with Ben and the wider team to put in place the funding for the business is a great success to all involved. The complexities of Private Equity transactions should never be underestimated having to negotiate on multiple fronts. This agreement with Lightning Fibre and Foresight will create local jobs and enhance essential local infrastructure as well as accelerating the development of a Full Fibre network to support the UK’s digital ambitions.

Nik Askaroff, CEO of EMC finished “Our involvement as Lead Advisers once again demonstrates that businesses and owners can get top level advice from local experts. We wish Ben, the Team and Foresight all the best and look forward to working with them again in the future.”

Lightning Fibre was advised by EMC Corporate Finance (Lead Advisers), DMH Stallard (legal)

Foresight was advised by Acuity Advisors, CMS and Analysys Mason.

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