Digital 9 Wireless buying 56% stake in Tetra Ireland for €76mn

Digital 9 Wireless buying 56% stake in Tetra Ireland for €76 million

LONDON, UK: Digital 9 Wireless Limited has signed a conditional agreement to acquire a majority stake (56%) in the exclusive operator of public safety wireless networks across the Republic of Ireland (RoI), Tetra Ireland Communications Limited for a total consideration of approximately €76 million.

Digital 9 Wireless may also have the opportunity to increase the acquisition up to a 100% holding, which would increase the total consideration to approximately €136 million.

As a result of this transaction, D9 has now deployed or committed substantially all of its available capital.

The Company has signed a conditional sale and purchase agreement (“SPA”) to acquire a majority stake (56%) in TETRA Ireland from eircom Limited. D9 Wireless has secured a commitment from the company to allocate, in aggregate, €135.7 million for the acquisition of up to 100% of TETRA Ireland, subject to contract with any other selling shareholders.

TETRA Ireland is the exclusive operator of public safety communication networks across the RoI, having been mandated by the Government of the RoI in 2006 and contractually renewed in 2020.

TETRA Ireland owns and operates the National Digital Radio Service (“NDRS”), a purpose-built, secure, digital mobile network, developed using “Terrestrial Trunked Radio” technology.

TETRA Ireland’s network provides a high reliability and mission critical infrastructure service across the RoI, providing >98% geographic coverage (including offshore, mountainous regions and remote rural locations), with an historical 99.97% network uptime and 24/7 customer care.

Compared to traditional commercial mobile network service, the TETRA Ireland network provides a higher level of security, resilience and redundancy in even the most rural areas which is required for public safety and emergency services.

Around 97% of TETRA Ireland’s customer base are RoI Government public bodies, comprised of c. 70 agencies with some 24,000 active subscribers principally across emergency services, local government and public services, including the police, ambulance services, the Irish Coast Guard, fire services and the Irish Prison Service.

Pricing and service terms for usage by TETRA Ireland’s customers are guaranteed by long-term, inflation linked contracts with the Government of the RoI.

Acquisition is D9’s first investment into wireless infrastructure, one of the Company’s four target digital sub-sectors. The opportunity is in line with the Company’s focus on UN Sustainable Development Goal 9 with TETRA Ireland providing resilient, mission critical communications infrastructure which supports users ranging from volunteer groups to national emergency services, connecting public services and communities across the RoI.

Thor Johnsen, Head of Digital Infrastructure at Triple Point, commented: “We are pleased to have entered into an agreement to acquire a majority stake in TETRA Ireland and will continue to responsibly support and enhance the mission critical and essential national wireless infrastructure services TETRA Ireland provides.

The acquisition is highly attractive and complementary to the growing D9 portfolio of digital infrastructure assets, providing additional long-term contracted, inflation-linked cash returns to investors. TETRA Ireland is an essential part of the Irish national wireless infrastructure today and looking to the future, and we look forward to working with the TETRA Ireland management team and key stakeholders.

Acquisition results in another milestone for the Company – substantial full deployment or commitment of the £750 million equity proceeds raised to date.”

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