The investment manager AXA IM Alts, belonging to the AXA group, and Swiss Life Asset Managers have announced a new ‘joint venture’ to acquire Lyntia Networks, the main neutral fiber optic operator in Spain, from Antin Infrastructure Partners, reported this Tuesday the companies involved in the operation, the amount of which has not been specified, although market sources place it at over 2,000 million euros.

Antin Infrastructure Partners will continue to own and operate the Lyntia Access business, a wholesale fiber-to-the-home (“FTTH”) provider focused on the residential market.

After this operation, José Antonio López will continue as CEO of Lyntia Networks, while Eduardo Taulet will remain in Antin as CEO of Lyntia Access.

The transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals and closing is expected to occur later this year.

Lyntia Networks, a reference wholesale operator in the Spanish telecommunications market and the only neutral provider that operates both in lighted and dark fibre, owns and operates its own high-quality fiber national network of more than 43,000 kilometres, deployed mainly along electricity and gas distribution infrastructure.

With contracts with the main telecommunications operators in Spain, Lyntia Networks offers long distance access, connecting around 2,700 towns, both metropolitan and small and medium-sized rural areas, as well as coastal areas.

“This investment guarantees the long-term support of experienced investors in telecommunications, who will add value to our clients and contribute to the development of the Gigabit society in Spain through our portfolio of dark fiber, capacity and edge data centers”, highlighted the CEO of Lyntia Networks, José Antonio López.

For his part, Mark Gilligan, director of infrastructure at AXA IM Alts, has highlighted that Lyntia Networks is an essential company for the provision of ultra-fast Internet services throughout Spain and “an excellent complement” to the growing portfolio of digital infrastructure of its company.

Emmanuel Lejay, CEO of Swiss Life Asset Managers, has underlined that telecommunications infrastructure is a “strategic asset” for the Swiss company as the world continues its evolution towards digitization.

Lastly, Mauricio Bolaña, partner at Antin Infrastructure Partners, expressed his satisfaction with all the work carried out to turn Lyntia Networks into a leading neutral independent wholesale fiber operator in Spain.

Within the framework of this operation, Antin has been advised by Deutsche Bank, UBS and Banco Santander, with Herbert Smith Freehills as legal advisor. For their part, AXA IM Alts and Swiss Life Asset Management have received advice from Rothschild and DC advisory, with Uria Menéndez and Gibson Dunn as legal advisors.