The Spanish infrastructure fund has acquired a 78.4% stake in wholesale fibre operator, looking to merge its assets with those of Retelit

This week, Spanish investor Asterion Industrial Partners has announced its latest conquest in Italy, purchasing a 78.4% stake in digital infrastructure specialist Irideos. 
The deal, worth an estimated €400 million, will see Asterion combined Irideos’ various digital assets with those of its newly purchased Italian company Retelit, creating “largest alternative wholesale access and B2B connectivity provider in Italy”.
“The add-on acquisition of a majority stake in Irideos paves the way for the next growth phase of our Italian platform of fibre and data center assets. We are particularly excited about the opportunity to combine Retelit and Irideos, creating a leading independent platform of significant scale,” said Asterion CEO Jesús Olmos. 
Irideos’ portfolio currently includes 27,000 km fibre optic routes and 15 data centres, with the company offering a variety of digital services to business customers, including wholesale fibre connectivity, data centre, and cloud solutions.
Retelit, meanwhile, has 15,000km of fibre in Italy, as well as 18 data centres. Asterion first acquired a 20% stake in Retelit back in October 2020, before making the decision to buy out the company entirely in December 2021. 
"Through this transaction, Asterion strengthens … its European digital infrastructure portfolio, which currently includes 1.4 million premises passed with Fibre-ToThe-Home, 49,000 km of long-distance fibre networks, 8,000 rural backhaul radiolinks and 42,000 square meters of data centre space in Spain, Italy, the UK, and Ireland," explained Asterion in a statement. 
Following regulatory approval, the deal is set to close in by the end of 2022.
In related fibre news, Italy’s incumbent operator, TIM, is currently examining how it can merger its fibre network with that of its rival, Open Fiber, creating a single, national fibre network for the whole of Italy. However, with the Italian government currently in chaos, it remains to be seen whether this plan will ultimately come to fruition. 
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