Following the liberalisation of the Romanian economy, telecommunications operators expanded rapidly by rolling out aerial fibre optics spanning from buildings to electric posts, to lamp posts across Bucharest. The result was a significant fibre coverage but at the cost of a fire hazard, interference with transportation networks, and visually very unappealing. To reduce the incidence of these aerial cables and improve the cityscape, the city of Bucharest awarded in 2008 a 49-year concession agreement, granting an exclusivity to build a network of underground ducts.
As part of this concession, the concessionaire, Netcity (owned by E-Infra), is building a network of 1,725 km of ducts in Bucharest, which can be increased up to 5,500 km to cover the entire city.
In December 2021, Meridiam acquired a 49% stake in Netcity with an additional 31% stake option.
Meridiam’s expertise will enable the Project Company to accelerate the construction which at the time of acquisition stood at less than 40% completion and realise the original critical objectives of the Project.