Quintillion Subsea Holdings LLC recently acquired the assets of Arctic Fibre, the Canadian developer of a telecommunications network between Asia and Europe via Canadian and Alaskan Arctic waters. No financial terms were released. Quintillion, which is majority-owned by U.S. private equity firm Cooper Investment Partners, said the acquisition of Toronto-based Arctic Fibre will result in the construction of the submarine fibre optic cable system over three phases. Once built, Quintillion will own and operate the network.
Arctic Fibre Acquired by Quintillion Networks
Toronto, Ontario, Canada – May 18, 2016 –Quintillion Subsea Holdings LLC (“Quintillion”) has acquired the assets of Arctic Fibre as part of a plan to build a submarine fibre optic cable from Asia to Europe with the first phase in Alaska. Quintillion will build, own and operate the network. The founding shareholders of Arctic Fibre hold an ownership stake in Quintillion and Michael Cunningham, the CEO of Arctic Fibre, has joined the board of Quintillion. Cooper Investment Partners, a New York-based private investment firm, is the majority investor in Quintillion.
The Alaska segment of the project is the first phase of a three-phase project to connect Asia and Europe through the Arctic. Phase two will be constructed from Alaska to Japan, and phase three will connect Alaska to Europe via the Canadian Arctic.
Construction activities are currently underway in Alaska to complete phase one, which includes the installation of a 1,850km subsea fibre optic cable from Prudhoe Bay to Nome with spurs to the Alaska communities of Barrow, Wainwright, Point Hope, and Kotzebue. The Quintillion cable system will make available much-needed bandwidth to these communities by early 2017.
In addition to phase one of Quintillion’s subsea system, a new terrestrial fibre optic cable is under construction and will provide connectivity from Prudhoe Bay to Fairbanks, Alaska. At Fairbanks, the fibre will connect to existing networks reaching Anchorage, Alaska and the Pacific Northwest, providing a fibre link between the continental United States and the Arctic.
Phase two, the Pacific segment, is intended to extend the backbone cable laid off the Alaska coast west, from the branching unit offshore Nome, to Japan with options for additional spurs into Alaska. Phase two will create additional redundancies of service to the System and open new markets for the project.
Phase three is planned to extend the subsea system from Prudhoe Bay, Alaska east through the Northwest Passage, south of Greenland, across the Atlantic Ocean to the United Kingdom with spurs into select communities in the Canadian Arctic. Once completed, phase three will provide multiple redundancies for the System and open additional international markets.
In connection with the transaction, Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. acted as exclusive financial advisor to Arctic Fibre.
Photo courtesy of Reuters