In the latest digital infrastructure deal handled by its specialist team, national law firm Shoosmiths represented Gresham House in a multi-million-pound investment through its British Strategic Investment Fund (BSIF) in Borderlink Broadband Limited, a Scottish based broadband company.
The BSIF is one of a range of funds from the specialist alternative asset manager which aims to build a portfolio through investing in sustainable, smaller mid-market UK housing and infrastructure projects. By supporting primarily local/regional projects that encourage job creation, resource efficiency and environmental benefits, the Gresham House BSIF strategy aims to have a positive social and environmental impact.
The investment will significantly accelerate Borderlink’s roll-out of both rural and urban fibre networks and will initially create 80 new skilled jobs to grow the company to over 120 employees. Headquartered at Duns in the Scottish Borders, Borderlink serves business and residential customers across Scotland, Cumbria and Northumberland with 10Gbps capable broadband.
This is the latest of several fibre/broadband investments on which Shoosmiths has advised over the last six months and further demonstrates the buoyancy and growth potential of the market in the UK and its attractiveness to infrastructure investors that recognise the opportunities for investment into digital infrastructure.
The Shoosmiths team consisted of Alastair Peet, client partner for Gresham House, principal associate Helen Burnell and senior associate Charlotte Cannell, who all specialise in venture capital, growth capital and infrastructure investments. The team were also supported by tax colleague, partner Anika Chandra, partner James Wood-Robertson advised on commercial infrastructure aspects, principal associates Gillian Wood and Richard Wilcox supported on infrastructure and telecoms aspects. Legal advisors, Lauren Midgley, Pav Clair and Laura Wright provided data protection, employment and commercial advice respectively with financing support from partner Fiona Cameron and associate Alistair Hayes.
Alastair Peet said:
“The smooth completion of the Borderlink deal demonstrates the calibre and recognised strength of our team in this market and illustrates our expertise and capability across the full range of digital infrastructure assets, data centres, terrestrial fibre, tower infrastructure, small cell networks as well as newer disruptive technologies.”
Commenting on the deal, Helen Burnell said:
“It was a pleasure to get this deal over the line for Stevie, Peter and the wider team and to support BSIF’s investment into Borderlink to support its ambitious growth plans across Scotland and Northern England.”
Stevie Ingamells, Associate Director, Sustainable Infrastructure at Gresham House said:
“Borderlink’s focus on digital inclusion for all is aligned with BSIF’s key objectives to invest in businesses capable of making a meaningful economic and social impact. We thank the Shoosmiths team for their invaluable support on this transaction.
Head of Shoosmiths Infrastructure and Energy practice, James Wood-Robertson, added:
“With institutional and infrastructure investors increasingly attracted by digital infrastructure assets and the global rollout of fibre broadband, our integrated team is well placed to help those businesses take advantage of the potential for sustainable growth and endorses our focus on digital infrastructure as a key facet of our Infrastructure & Energy sector strategy.”