Mubadala to invest $500m in US broadband company Brightspeed

Mubadala is investing in the company alongside investment funds managed by affiliates of New York-listed Apollo Global Management

Mubadala's $284 billion investment portfolio spans five continents. Victor Besa / The National
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Mubadala Investment Company, Abu Dhabi’s sovereign investor, is investing $500 million in the US-based broadband and telecoms services company Brightspeed.

Mubadala is investing in the company alongside investment funds managed by affiliates of New York-listed Apollo Global Management, it said in a statement on Tuesday. Mubadala will become a minority shareholder in Brightspeed.

Headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, Brightspeed is the fifth-largest “incumbent local exchange carrier” in the US, with the capability of serving more than 6.5 million homes and businesses in mainly rural and suburban communities across the US Midwest, South-east and parts of Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

The company launched operations in October last year and started serving its first fibre customers in March. Brightspeed’s planned fibre optics transformation is expected to reach up to 3 million homes and businesses over the next five years.

“As a responsible global investor, Mubadala sees a huge opportunity in supporting Brightspeed’s growth strategy in transitioning large swathes of the US to fibre connectivity and promoting digital equity and inclusion,” said Khaled al Qubaisi, chief executive of Real Estate and Infrastructure Investments at Mubadala.

"We are delighted to be partnering with Apollo and Brightspeed to capitalise on the growth opportunities in fibre deployment and create not only sustainable, long-term value, but also support the digital infrastructure development across the US.”

Mubadala’s latest investment is part of the company’s rapidly growing digital infrastructure portfolio headed by its executive director Mounir Barakat.

Last year, Mubadala invested $350 million into Princeton Digital Group, a pan-Asia data centre company focused on expanding world-class data centre services to meet increasing demand across Asia. Mubadala has also invested £800 million ($997.23 million) in CityFibre, the UK’s largest independent full-fibre platform.

“We are pleased to welcome our long-time partners at Mubadala as Brightspeed shareholders and believe this commitment validates our transformational thesis and the strength of the management team," said Aaron Sobel, Apollo private equity partner.

Mubadala is strengthening its partnership with Apollo.

Earlier this year, the firms announced an agreement focused on private credit investment opportunities amid a tightening monetary environment globally.

Mubadala, which invests on behalf of the Abu Dhabi government, is at the heart of the emirate’s efforts to diversify its revenue base and generate income from sources other than oil.

The sovereign fund’s $284 billion investment portfolio spans five continents. It has interests in aerospace, information and communications technology, semiconductors, metals and mining, renewable energy, oil and gas and petrochemicals.

Updated: May 02, 2023, 12:22 PM