Agreements with UFB Partners
Structures underpinning the Ultrafast Fibre (WEL Networks) and Northpower Fibre contracts are as explained as the “preferred commercial model” in the UFB Invitation to Participate (ITP). The partners make payments to Crown Fibre Holdings as individual premises are connected to the network. In addition the Crown, through CFH, shares ownership of the local fibre companies (LFCs) it has formed with its partners. This equity can be realised, subject to certain caveats, upon IPO or a buyout by the partner.
The Enable and Chorus contracts use alternative financial models, as allowed by the ITP. These feature a lower initial CFH outlay per premise but no recycling of CFH’s investment during the deployment period as premises are connected.
In the case of Enable, CFH also has direct partial ownership of the new LFC which, although it is not bought back as premises are connected, can be realised by selling its stake or being bought out by Enable.
In the case of Chorus, the Crown’s equity is made up of non-voting preference shares (which convert to ordinary shares at preset dates) and debt securities with zero coupon (i.e. no interest payable). These operate such that Chorus may return funds to CFH from 2025, with all funds likely to be returned to CFH by 2036. For more information on the Crown Fibre Holdings partnerships, this section provides a copy of the public version of the agreements entered into by Crown Fibre Holdings and each of its four Partners to deploy Ultra Fast Broadband.