Willkie Advises Searchlight Capital Partners on its Exit from EOLO

July 21, 2021

The transaction values EOLO, Italy’s leading fixed wireless access broadband provider, at an enterprise value of over €1.2 billion.

Willkie advised Searchlight Capital Partners, a leading global private investment firm, on its agreement to sell its entire share capital in EOLO, alongside its co-investor Cometa, to Partners Group. The transaction, announced July 19, provides for Swiss-based private equity firm Partners Group to acquire a 75% equity stake in EOLO. Partners Group will acquire its stake from Searchlight Capital Partners and a vehicle controlled by Luca Spada, EOLO's Founder and Chief Executive Officer, in a transaction that values the company at an enterprise value of over €1.2 billion. The remaining 25% of equity will continue to be owned by the vehicle controlled by Luca Spada.

EOLO is the largest fixed wireless access (FWA) broadband provider in Italy, owning and operating more than 3,400 Base Transceiver Stations, which transmit fixed wireless internet between its network and end users, and 13,000 kilometers of fibre backhaul, covering roughly 80% of Italian households. Currently, the company connects over 600,000 households and businesses to the internet, the majority of which are based in less densely populated areas. Its FWA technology delivers speeds and quality comparable or superior to other broadband offerings available in its target areas, but with technical solutions that can overcome the connectivity challenges in rural areas, thus playing a critical role in addressing the digital divide in Italy.

Searchlight announced its investment in EOLO in 2018. With offices in New York, London and Toronto, Searchlight has over $9 billion in assets under management.

The Willkie team was led in London by corporate partners Gavin Gordon and Andrew Gray, and included finance partner Ashley Young.