Sources suggest that Virgin Media O2 (VMO2) is lining up a potential bid for the alternative fibre operator

According to a report from Sky News, VMO2 is among a number of players interested in purchasing UK altnet Trooli, with analysts suggesting the deal could carry a price tag of over £100 million.

Rumours about a potential sale have been swirling since at least two weeks ago, when it was reported that the company had appointed business sale and restructuring specialist David Duggins to their Board.

Founded back in 2003, Trooli has grown to become a significant player in the UK’s fibre-to-the-premise (FTTP) ecosystem.

In August last year, the company announced they had achieved coverage of roughly 275,000 UK premises with FTTP, primarily focussed on rural and semi-rural locations in Berkshire, Dorset, and Kent.

Trooli said at the time that they aimed to reach 400,000 by the end of the 2022, with their ultimate goal being to pass one million premises by the end of 2024.

Around this time last year, it seemed that Trooli’s upward trajectory was set to continue, with reports suggesting that the company was planning to raise £200 million via an equity sale to further accelerate its rollout.

More recently, however, it seems that Trooli’s ambitions may have been reined in by the pressures of the global economy, with rising inflation, soaring energy costs, and a stuttering supply chain all contributing to a slower and more costly rollout programme.

Against this backdrop, it should come as little surprise that investor appetite for backing fibre infrastructure companies like Trooli has waned in recent months.

As a result, a sale of Trooli could be the most interesting option for the company’s shareholders, with the move offering VMO2 a cost-effective way to expand its nationwide footprint.

How is the altnet landscape changing in 2023? Join the fibre ecosystem in discussion at this year’s Connected North even live in Manchester

Also in the news:
AT&T signs up to use Frontier’s fibre to connect mobile towers
UScellular urges customers to put down their phones in latest initiative
VMO2 and Vodafone give rural Scotland a 4G boost