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Ropes & Gray advises Altice France on financing of new French broadband and fibre optic infrastructure project

Practices: Finance

Ropes & Gray has advised Altice France – a leading telecoms and media operator in France and a subsidiary of Altice Europe – in connection with obtaining financing commitments and the subsequent entry into credit facilities to finance the deployment of fibre-to-the-home infrastructure by SFR FTTH.

SFR FTTH is the largest alternative fibre-to-the-home infrastructure wholesale operator in France, aiming to deploy fibre-to-the-home networks primarily in exclusive areas where no fibre-to-the-home networks have been built to date.  SFR FTTH is a joint venture between Altice France and a consortium of infrastructure investors led by OMERS Infrastructure and including AXA IM - Real Assets and Allianz Capital Partners.

The €1,925m senior secured credit facilities were arranged by a syndicate of banks consisting of BNP Paribas, Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank, Natixis, Royal Bank of Canada and Société Générale, and include a €1,700m capex term facility, a €125m bank guarantee facility and a €100m VAT receivable financing facility.

The Ropes & Gray team was led by finance partners Michael Kazakevich and Carol Van der Vorst, alongside finance counsel Alexandru Mocanu and derivatives partner Anna Lawry.  Other members of the team included finance associates Ana Biloglav, Sean Darling, Adjoa Kwarteng and Arnav Prasad. All are based in the firm's London office.

Michael Kazakevich, global co-head of finance at Ropes & Gray, said: “We continue to benefit from having Altice Europe as a client and our finance offering has expanded to continue to offer the elite level of legal expertise and service they have come to expect.  One of the newest members of our London finance team, Carol Van der Vorst, supported by Alexandru Mocanu, has followed up her recent work for TPG by guiding this landmark financing, leveraging her prior infrastructure experience and extensive leveraged finance knowledge to help put in place the financing that will fund the SFR FTTH expansion in the years to come.”

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