CityFibre acquire Lit Fibre in latest round of UK altnet consolidation

In a move set to accelerate its nationwide full-fibre rollout, CityFibre, the UK’s leading independent network operator, has announced the acquisition of full fibre altnet Lit Fibre from Newlight Partners. This strategic acquisition is poised to extend CityFibre’s reach by up to 300,000 premises as part of its ambitious 8 million premises rollout program. The agreement, structured on a share-based acquisition model, will see Newlight Partners assume a minority stake in CityFibre. The completion of the transaction is anticipated in the second quarter of 2024.

Lit Fibre, a vertically integrated altnet, is both a network builder and Internet Service Provider (ISP). As of now, they cover 200,000 premises spanning across more than 20 towns in various regions including Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, Hertfordshire, Worcestershire, Essex, and Suffolk. With a rapidly expanding subscriber base exceeding 9,000 retail customers, Lit Fibre brings significant operational value to CityFibre’s growth strategy.

This acquisition marks CityFibre’s initial move in a series of anticipated deals over the next two years, aligning with its vision to leverage altnet acquisitions as a key driver for growth. By integrating Lit Fibre into its network infrastructure, CityFibre aims to solidify its position as the primary wholesale competitor to BT Openreach in the UK.

The integration process, slated for completion later this year, will enable ISPs to access a consistent range of market-leading products, pricing, and service offerings across the network. CityFibre plans to seamlessly integrate Lit Fibre’s assets into its carrier-grade network, encompassing passive, active, and operational support systems.

The acquisition also includes Lit Fibre’s ongoing deployment initiatives, aiming to cover up to an additional 100,000 premises by early 2025. Leveraging existing poles and ducts, Lit Fibre’s network demonstrates an attractive build cost per premises. Lit Fibre also uses high standard and compatible 10Gbps XGS-PON network architecture which will be a boon to CityFibre’s integration process by allowing them to maintain high-quality services to customers.

CityFibre assures Lit Fibre customers of uninterrupted full-fibre broadband services throughout the integration process. As a wholesale-only operator, CityFibre remains committed to exploring retail ISP options post-integration to enhance service offerings.

With a proven track record of successful acquisitions including KCOM, Redcentric, Entanet, and FibreNation, CityFibre is well-equipped to integrate Lit Fibre into its commercial strategy.

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