The German fibre network builder Glasfaser Direkt filed for insolvency because of the withdrawal of its major investor, the UK-based infrastructure investor John Laing group. It’s the same investor group that has just acquired a portfolio of assets from the Irish Infrastructure Fund including Ireland’s largest independent TowerCo for €1bn in last December.
HelloFiber, a joint venture between Liberty Global Ventures and InfraVia Capital Partners, has also filed for bankruptcy protection this year. HelloFiber has began to build fibre-to-the-home greenfield networks by targeting under-served municipalities only five months ago.
Leaving investors invoke major changes in macroeconomic conditions inlcuding rising inflation, uncertain interest rates, and a lack of access to external capital. Liberty Global also mentioned rising rollout costs and a lack of construction capacity in the country.
In Germany real GDP increased by 1.8% in 2022, but in the fourth quarter investment and private consumption decreased with real GDP contracting by 0.2%. YoY inflation reached 8,7% last year and the rising producer costs are set to keep HICP inflation at a projected 6.3% in 2023. The long term interest rate increased from 0.15% to 2.19% in one year time.