Souter Investments has agreed to sell its controlling stake in rural broadband provider Broadway Partners to Downing LLP. This is part of a £145 million funding round to support the company’s plan to deliver full fibre broadband to rural communities across Wales and Scotland.
Calum Cusiter, Co-Managing Director at Souter Investments said: “We are delighted to have been part of Broadway’s journey over the last 3 ½ years and have seen the business grow and develop considerably in that time. Our goal is always to leave our businesses in a better position than when we first invest and that is certainly true in this case due to the huge effort and expertise that the team have applied over the last few years. However, we are also sure that the investment and backing from Downing will facilitate the next and exciting stage of growth for Broadway.
It is great to have worked with Downing on this transaction and we wish them, plus everyone at Broadway, every success in the future.”
Broadway Partners launched in 2016 to deliver affordable, high-speed broadband services to the more remote regions of the UK, particularly Wales and Scotland where there is a notable digital divide in countryside locations. Having received growth capital funding from Souter Investments in 2018, Broadway has connected thousands of premises in communities across Arran, Inverness-shire, Ayrshire, Stirlingshire, Perth & Kinross, Monmouthshire and Pembrokeshire, with networks soon to be rolled out across Powys, Ceredigion, and Carmarthenshire.
Michael Armitage, CEO of Broadway Partners added: “The investment from Downing LLP will enable Broadway Partners to accelerate its rural broadband programme, offering vital connectivity to businesses and households in parts of the country that other providers can’t reach. We are fortunate to have had Souter Investments as our provider of funding and wise counsel since 2018, and their expertise and guidance have been invaluable as we have grown from ambitious start-up to even more ambitious challenger. We are looking forward to the next phase of our mission with Downing with confidence and optimism.”
Acuity Advisors acted as lead corporate finance advisors. Dickson Minto, led by John Pentland and Michelle McCabe, acted for Souter Investments as legal advisors.
About Souter Investments
Souter Investments is one of the UK’s leading family investment offices specialising in private equity. Founded in 2006, Souter has invested in over 60 unquoted companies and currently has significant investments in more than 30 businesses, acting either as the lead investor or as a partner for other financial sponsors.
Souter Investments’ portfolio includes Stone Group, a UK based provider of IT equipment, managed services and solutions, including a secure IT asset disposal service accredited by the Environmental Agency which assists organisations in achieving their information security, environmental and sustainability goals; DivideBuy, the fintech platform ranked first in the 2020 Deloitte UK Technology Fast 50; and, LIKEZERO, a leading provider of proven, next generation intelligent data capture technology for the financial services industry.
When it launched commercial service in 2016, deploying pioneering TV WhiteSpace technology on the Isle of Arran in Scotland, Broadway’s mission was to serve the connectivity needs of rural communities across the UK. The company has since developed network coverage across large swathes of Monmouthshire and Pembrokeshire in Wales, and in Ayrshire, Perth & Kinross, Inverness-shire and Stirlingshire in Scotland. With an initial Fixed Wireless focus, Broadway has now incorporated Full Fibre into its technology toolkit, allowing it to offer the most appropriate technology wherever it goes.