APG invests, on behalf of its pension fund clients, 500 million dollars in the deployment of fiber glass in the United States. To that end, APG takes an interest of 16.7 percent in the American fiber glass production company SiFi Networks America Limited (SiFi). APG establishes a joint venture with SiFi, intending to actually realize those connections.
The collaboration ensures that over a million households in several American cities, for whom no fast internet is available yet, will be connected to fiber glass.
The importance of a stable, reliable and fast internet connection became evident in the past year and a half when many people were forced to work from home. The new joint venture between APG and SiFi mainly focuses on those areas in the US where other major telecom providers don't really prioritize the construction of fiber-optic connections. The capital injection provided by APG and the collaboration with SiFi help to accelerate the bridging of this digital divide.
Also special is that the joint venture's fiber glass network will be open access. This means the network is accessible to third party operators. Once finished, it will enable every household to choose its own telecom provider. SiFi is one of the first American companies working according to this open access model. Meanwhile, SiFi has built such publicly accessible networks in many American cities or has entered into agreements to provide these cities with fiber glass in the future.
Smart City Infrastructure Fund
In addition, APG also invested 500 million euros this month in the so-called Smart City Infrastructure Fund, which was established in November 2018. This fund, managed by infrastructure manager Whitehelm Capital, focuses on investments according to the Smart City concept. The aim is to make cities more energy efficient and to make it a more pleasant and efficient place to live. Among other projects, the Smart City Infrastructure Fund is also investing in the further roll-out of fiber in the United States via SiFi. The first investment from this fund was made in 2019 in a fiber optic network from SiFi that was built in Fullerton, California.
On the global stage, APG is an active investor in infrastructure and has a growing presence in the telecommunications industry. Patrick Kanters, Managing Director of Global Real Assets, commented, “APG is excited to announce an additional investment with SiFi that will position the Company to provide vital infrastructure to underserved markets and customers well into the future. This partnership also contributes to APG’s ambition to support digitalization and the energy transition. Importantly, this investment is expected to deliver an attractive and sustainable return for our pension fund clients and their participants.”