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Investing in fiber optic networks ahead of PPC’s entry into telecoms

PPC, through its subsidiary FiberGrid, is speeding up its plans to provide fiber optic connections to homes and businesses, as part of its 680 million-euro-investment program until 2026.

As its management noted following the release of 2023 financial results, the capital expenditures (CAPEX) for its entry into telecommunications reached approximately 25.8 million euros last year.

This year, an increase is expected in order for PPC to have 500 thousand ready for sale household and business connections with a Fiber To The Home (FTTH) network or a total of 750 thousand including those under construction.

Network extension

In 2023, FiberGrid expanded its network to 13 municipalities in the greater Attica region covering approximately 140 thousand connections and proceeded to procure the necessary IT systems to start providing telecommunications services this year.

In March 2024, the connections reached 185 thousand, while it aims for 1.7 million in 2025 and a total of 3 million in key locations throughout Greece, spanning approximately 100 municipalities.

When fully operational in 2030, based on its business plan, its network will have around 1 million subscribers, revenues of 120 million euros and EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) of 100 million euros.

However, telecommunications are a particularly dynamic market and developments are currently taking place that may change PPC’s announced goals.

So far it is reported that FiberGrid will be active exclusively in the wholesale provision of FTTH services. This means that another provider will use its network for a negotiated fee to provide the service to the end consumer.

This is the one scenario where the existing telecommunications providers (OTE, Vodafone, Nova) have not disclosed their intentions regarding a possible collaboration with PPC’s subsidiary.

The second scenario is the participation of PPC in the planned acquisition of Nova, either directly or indirectly through the investment fund CVC, which participates in its share capital.

In any case, PPC’s entry into the ultra-high-bandwidth market is now considered a given, which was also confirmed by the presence of a high-ranking executive at the recent meeting of all telecommunications providers with the Minister of Digital Governance, Dimitris Papastergiou, during which, among other things, the planning for the development of FTTH networks.

Regarding its financing, FiberGrid has signed a bond loan of 465 million euros with the participation of Alpha Bank, Piraeus Bank, Eurobank and the Recovery Fund (pillar Digital Transformation) totaling 290 million euros.