HomeFinancial/RegulationSPIE Group acquires fibre and mobile firm ICG Group from H.I.G. Capital...

    SPIE Group acquires fibre and mobile firm ICG Group from H.I.G. Capital  


    SPIE’s position in Germany’s fibre and mobile infrastructure markets just got a significant boost

    Paris-listed energy and communications company SPIE Group has acquired a 92% stake in investment company H.I.G. Capital’s German fibre portfolio company ICG Group for an undisclosed sum. With this acquisition SPIE will enter the market for 5G mobile telecommunications infrastructure and significantly strengthen its position in the fibre networks, a crucial move as Germany is still in the early stages for the rollout of fibre across the country and is lagging behind the other European countries in that field. 

    Headquartered in Leonberg near Stuttgart, ICG Group is a leading turnkey service provider for telecommunication infrastructure (for both fibre and 5G Mobile telecommunications networks). The Group was initially launched in 2021, with H.I.G.’s platform investment in Infratech, which builds complex FTTx networks on behalf of public and private German network operators. The company subsequently acquired comcross, a German service provider for mobile telecommunication infrastructure. It generated a revenue of around €230 million in 2023 with margins north of 10%, in line with the sector. 

    The mobile communication segment was further developed through ICG’s bolt-on investments in telecommunication solutions providers Schwan and TripleA as well as telecommunication network planner DPE. Today, ICG has more than 700 employees in 16 locations throughout Germany, mainly, as well as in the Netherlands, and Croatia. The company has built more than 15,000 mobile communications sites, deployed more than 15,000 kilometres of fibre-optic lines, and connected more than 100,000 households to fibre-optic networks (“homes passed”). ICG’s revenue quadrupled during H.I.G.’s ownership.  

    The remaining 8% shareholding will be retained by the current management team who will remain in place and will contribute to pursue the business development. 

    What the execs said 

    “The acquisition of ICG Group enables SPIE to further strengthen its position as a leading player in the deployment of fibre networks and mobile telecommunication infrastructure in Germany, which are very strategic and rapidly growing markets,” said SPIE chairman and CEO Gauthier Louette (above). “With its high growth perspectives and very strong level of profitability, we are convinced that the combination of ICG Group with SPIE will be highly value creative.” 

     “The acquisition of ICG Group will further reinforce our existing City networks & grids segment and we are delighted to welcome the management and its highly skilled collaborators to further develop the business,” added SPIE Deutschland & Zentraleuropa CEO Markus Holzke.  

    “We are very pleased to have assembled the ICG Group, uniquely offering customers a single point of contact for the entire value chain of digital infrastructure services,” said H.I.G managing director Holger Kleingarn. Our engagement in ICG underlines H.I.G.’s expertise in identifying strong platforms in key future industries and sustainably expanding them via organic growth and selected acquisitions.  

    “We have established ICG Group as the leading enabler of next-generation infrastructures and turnkey network solutions in Germany and beyond,” he said. “We thank the management team of Vladimir Suznjevic and Gregor Klassen for the highly trustful and successful partnership and wish them continued success for the next phase of ICG Group’s development.” 

    “Technologies such as Industry 4.0, autonomous driving, and artificial intelligence require a significant expansion of digital infrastructure in Germany and Europe,” said ICG Group mobile communication business managing director Vladimir Suznjevic. In addition, while the 5G mobile communication standard is currently being rolled out, 6G is already in development.” 

    He added: “In order to best drive the European digitisation, a technical integration of mobile communications and fibre-optic infrastructure is key. At ICG, with the support of H.I.G. and now SPIE, we are ideally positioned to continue meeting this requirement for the benefit of our trusted customers.” 

    Infratech fibre-optic managing director Gregor Klassen said “Germany will catch up to the industrialised countries in fibre optic rollout over the next decade, resulting in an ongoing high demand for experienced and reliable service providers in the areas of fibre optic planning, civil engineering, and installation.” 

    He added: “We have trusted relationships with our public-sector and corporate clients, allowing us to implement large turnkey networks for them. We thank H.I.G. for the strong support over the past years.” 

    SPIE expects to close the transaction in Q2 2024, subject to customary closing conditions among which antitrust approval.