Connecting Europe Broadband Fund - call for a Fund manager
The European Investment Bank and the European Commission are looking for an investment manager of the Connecting Europe Broadband Fund (CEBF)
Over the past months, the European Commission has worked with the EIB on designing new financing solutions for broadband projects. Growing demand for such financing solutions is visible across Europe, with a rapid emergence of alternative business models in the broadband sector and many local initiatives being set up to address connectivity needs.
Although large telecom operators are investing a significant amount of capital expenditure and a material amount of public subsidies is available, there remains a substantial funding gap for modernising networks in line with the rapidly evolving needs of the Gigabit Society. Especially, important investments needs are identified in the less dense areas, which generally show lower returns on investment than urban areas, but, at the same time, are not eligible for subsidies dedicated to non-profitable rural areas only.
To address this investment challenge in less dense areas, the European Commission together with EIB propose to set up a new commercial fund of a target size of 500 million of euros. National Promotional Banks and Institutions (NPBIs) have also been actively involved in the initiative, which will be the EFSI investment platform for broadband in Europe. The funds coming from the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), EFSI and the EIB, together with capital from NPBIs and the private sector, will be invested into economically viable broadband projects. The scarcity of financing solutions is particularly pronounced for smaller projects; therefore the focus will be on transactions lower than 30 million of euros.
Ensuring the success of this initiative requires attracting an experienced fund manager, with a strong track record in financing infrastructure and ICT projects, and with the ability to work across several EU countries. The European Investment Bank (EIB) just published a call for expression of interest for a fund manager, who will be responsible for managing this 500 million of euros investment fund for broadband projects. This call will be open for a month.
After the selection of a fund manager, the EIB will prepare for the launch of the fund, expected by the end of 2016.