Dealmakers support Northleaf Capital's acquisition of Quickline

04 May 2021 2 min. read

Northleaf Capital Partners has acquired majority stake in broadband company Quickline. A host of professional services firms advised on both sides of the deal table.

Founded in 2006, Quickline is an independent wireless internet service provider (ISP), with a wireless and fibre network covering Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. The organisation boasts “superfast internet anywhere” to its customers, and Quickline is targeting to pass providing 500,000 premises with its 5G, as well as its fibre to the premise network in the coming years.

As the telecom firm continues to grow, Bicester-based Bigblu Broadband has conditionally agreed to sell the company's stake in Quickline to global private markets investment firm Northleaf Capital Partners. The deal reportedly values Bigblu Broadband's shareholding in Quickline at up to £48.6 million, while 100% of the business would be valued at up to £92.1 million.

Dealmakers support Northleaf Capital's acquisition of Quickline

New owner Northleaf Capital Partners is a global private equity firm with more than $10 billion in private equity, infrastructure and private credit commitments under management on behalf of public, corporate and multi-employer pension plans, endowments, foundations, financial institutions and family offices

Quickline’s management team as well as Bigblu Broadband and Harwood Capital will still retain minority stakes in the company following the deal.

Speaking on the sale, Andrew Walwyn, CEO at Bigblu Broadband, commented, "The management team has extensive experience in the sector and a track record of building attractive assets and delivering shareholder value. Through the sale of Quickline, Bigblu Broadband has once again demonstrated its ability to maximise the value of its interests in the high growth broadband connectivity market.”

Quickline was advised on its sale by a series of professional service firms, including management consultancy Analysys Mason, which provided vendor due diligence services. Meanwhile, Bigblu Broadband selected finnCap as its nominated adviser and broker, and Torch Partners as its financial adviser during its exit.

"Bigblu Broadband remains on a strong financial footing,” concluded Walwyn, “enabling the Board to consider appropriate means of returning surplus cash to shareholders whilst also considering the opportunities within its continuing operations so as to ensure the continued future growth of shareholder value for shareholders."