In a transaction that will increase access to open fibre for South African businesses and households, Standard Bank introduced STOA Infra & Energy, a French Company owned by Caisse des Depots (CDC) and Agence Francaise de Development (AFD) to Metro Fibre, a rapidly growing South African fibre connectivity provider.
“Standard Bank’s commitment to partnering with clients as well as our view of the broader global capital ecosystem allowed us to recognise and leverage the synergy between STOA and Metro Fibre,” said Nina Triantis, Global Head, Technology, Media and Telecom (TMT), Standard Bank.
STOA has invested significant equity capital in Metro Fibre, becoming a 23.08% shareholder. “This will be used to invest in the physical build and expansion of Metro Fibre’s fibre network in South Africa,” said Ms Triantis. Some of Metro Fibre’s current shareholders also participated in the equity raise, confirming their commitment to both the growth of Metro Fibre and the sector.
Standard Bank has an in depth understanding of the TMT sector, of what investors are looking for globally and how to position high-growth businesses seeking equity and debt capital,” said Ms Triantis. This transaction highlights Standard Bank’s ability to identify and connect global capital to developing medium-sized businesses seeking to progress into market leaders.
Marie-Laure Mazaud, Deputy CEO of STOA underlines the long-term benefits of this transaction. “The telecommunications sector is a significant driver of economic growth and has direct social impact through the improvement of fast and affordable internet access in Africa. Thus, broadening our portfolio into the telecommunications sector is a natural step for STOA whose objective is to foster socio-economic development in African countries and reduce digital bridge amongst others.”
According to Ms Mazaud, “This transaction, our third investment in a major infrastructure project, will allow us to collaborate with a strong fibre operator in South Africa and to support a fast-growing company in a dynamic market with increasing demand. We are confident with our partnership with Metro Fibre and are looking forward to supporting the management to take advantage of new opportunities, reach a critical size and bring top tier connectivity to homes and businesses in the country.”
Beyond creating a step change in Metro Fibre’s business by providing the equity capital for their next phase of growth, the company’s fibre-to-the-home segment will improve the quality of life of South Africans. Moreover, since a recent International Telecommunications Union report indicates that a 10% increase in connectivity results in 1% GDP growth, increasing South African businesses’ access to fibre will also drive efficiency and growth in the South African economy.
This article was published in partnership with Standard Bank.