Lower Austria model for broadband expansion ready to go: Eisenberger & Herzog and CMS bring transaction to a successful conclusion
To ensure that Lower Austria can also supply rural regions with a fast and future-proof fibre-to-the-home (“FTTH”) optical fibre network, Niederösterreichische Breitband-Holding and Allianz Capital Partners (ACP) have agreed on a 300 million investment package. Thanks to the two experienced commercial law firms CMS and Eisenberger & Herzog, the transaction can be closed before the end of the year.
After the investor selection was completed this summer and the agreement signed in September, the transaction will be closed on December 9. The goal of achieving this by the end of 2019 has thus been achieved – and construction work can begin in 2020.
A major contribution was made by CMS for Niederösterreichische Breitband-Holding, and by Eisenberger & Herzog on ACP’s investor side. ACP was comprehensively advised by E&H on the acquisition of a 74.9% stake in Niederösterreichische Glasfaserinfrastrukturgesellschaft (nöGIG), part of Niederösterreichische Breitband-Holding. The extremely complex bidding process, with numerous national and international institutional investors, from which ACP ultimately emerged as the best bidder, was developed, structured, and legally supported by CMS.
On behalf of the state, nöGIG builds and operates fiber optic networks in the quiet pastoral areas of Lower Austria. After successful testing in four pilot regions, the program can now be launched further with ACP’s participation. Between 2020 and 2022, an additional 100,000 households in communities with less than 5,000 inhabitants will be provided with fast Internet access.
“Lower Austria model” legally challenging
In order to do justice to the complexity of a transaction like this at all levels, legal advisors with comprehensive expertise are required on both sides. Lead partners at CMS were Thomas Hamerl, partner and expert for national and international infrastructure projects, and Clemens Grossmayer, partner and member of the transaction team. The Eisenberger & Herzog team was led by Michael Strenitz, partner and member of the practice group Corporate Law and M&A.