Ultrafast broadband specialist CityFibre has agreed to be acquired in a deal worth almost £540m after more than doubling its annual revenue.

A consortium formed by European private equity firm Antin and West Street Infrastructure Partners (WSIP), one of a series of funds managed by Goldman Sachs, has agreed to buy CityFibre Infrastructure Holdings Plc.

The consortium will pay CityFibre's shareholders 81 pence per share, valuing the London-based provider of alternative digital infrastructure at £537.8m.

Listed on the AIM market, CityFibre claims to be the largest alternative provider of wholesale full fibre infrastructure in the UK. The company's fibre metro networks are currently present in 42 towns and cities, which it hopes to expand to 50 by 2020.

"CityFibre has established itself as a leading independent provider of wholesale fibre infrastructure in the UK and has been on a transformational journey since its IPO in 2014," said chairman Chris Stone.

He added: "Under private ownership, CityFibre will be able to gain alternative and potentially easier access to the financing required for its announced FTTH deployment. This will strengthen the company's ability to deliver on its vision to provide full fibre infrastructure to 20 per cent of the UK market."

The mega deal was announced as CityFibre published its financial results for the full-year to 31 December 2017, revealing a turnover surge of 126 per cent to £34.8m as well as an increase in gross profit and earnings.

CEO Greg Mesch hailed the company's "excellent strategic progress" during the year and said the company was now "firmly at the centre of almost unstoppable momentum as the UK finally wakes up to the gigabit revolution".

Among CityFibre’s operational highlights for the year included its £29m acquisition of Entanet, the signing of its largest-ever public sector contract in Glasgow and the landmark agreement with Vodafone to kick-start FTTH deployment to up to five million home.

Philippe Camu, global head of WSIP, said: "CityFibre is an exciting and innovative communications infrastructure company and we strongly support its vision to expand fibre-based broadband networks across the UK. CityFibre can play a significant role in developing the UK's digital economy and together with Antin we look forward to supporting the company in fulfilling that objective."

Mark Crosbie, Managing Partner of Antin, added: “We are very excited to support the company in its next phase of development as it becomes a leading alternative fibre-based communications provider in UK cities.”

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