France: The EIB and ILIAD celebrate 10 years of partnership and sign a new EUR 300m financing agreement to accelerate the rollout of fiber across France
4 March 2019
Thomas Reynaud, Iliad Group’s Chief Executive Officer, and Ambroise Fayolle, Vice-President of the European Investment Bank (EIB) – the bank of the European Union – today celebrated 10 years of partnership by setting up a new €300 million loan, supported by the European Commission’s Investment Plan for Europe (the “Juncker Plan”), to help expand Iliad’s fiber network in France.
The financing agreement was signed today 25 meters underground, in an old nuclear bunker transformed into a data center by Iliad, symbolizing both the Group’s expertise and Europe’s sovereign data future.
This agreement cements Iliad’s position as France’s number one alternative fiber operator. With 3,000 employees dedicated to its fiber rollout, the Group is working on a daily basis to help bring fiber to the whole of France, including through Public Initiative Networks (PINs) for rural and sparsely populated areas. Iliad has over one million fiber subscribers, with 10 million connectible sockets in more than 90 départements, and it is standing by its objective of having 20 million fiber-connectible sockets by end-2022.
The new loan from the EIB – which brings Iliad’s total amount of EIB financing to €850 million since 2009 – demonstrates the Bank’s intention to continue to partner the Group in deploying its fiber network across the whole of France.
Commenting on the agreement, Ambroise Fayolle, Vice-Pr esident of the EIB, said “The continuation of our partnership with the Iliad Group is a clear illustration of the European Union Bank’s commitment to supporting innovation and the digital society as well as to ensuring that ultra-fast broadband is available in all regions. Helping extend the reach of ultra-fast broadband constitutes a vital support provided by Europe to businesses and residents located in rural and sparsely populated areas.” Pierre Moscovici – the European Commissioner responsible for economic and financial affairs, taxation and customs – said “I’m delighted with this agreement, which has been signed within the scope of the Juncker Plan and is intended to provide support to one of France’s fiber operators. It will contribute to advancing digital deployment in France, therefore helping to bridge the digital divide in our regions”.
Thomas Reynaud, Iliad Group’s Chief Executive Officer, said “We would like to thank the EIB for its support over the past ten years, which has enabled Iliad to rise to the challenge of deploying fiber across France and to confirm our position as the country’s number one alternative fiber operator.”
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