White & Case and CMS lead on UK tech company's £538m takeover by Goldman-backed consortium

White & Case and CMS have taken lead roles as UK fibre broadband company CityFibre agrees to a £537.8m cash takeover by a consortium of investors backed by Goldman Sachs.

The consortium comprises private equity firm Antin’s specialist infrastructure fund and Goldman’s West Street Infrastructure Partners.

CityFibre, which was founded by in 2011 and floated in 2014, is building its own fibre-optic broadband network in Britain, taking on national provider BT.

White & Case is advising the consortium with a team including Patrick Sarch, the co-head of the firm’s corporate practice in London, and City private equity partner Caroline Sherrell.

Sarch joined the US firm in January 2017 from Clifford Chance, where he had been a partner since 2001.

Sullivan & Cromwell is advising consortium member West Street Infrastructure Partners, fielding a team including a trio of London partners – European M&A head Tim Emmerson, corporate partner Ben Perry and antitrust partner Juan Rodriguez – alongside New York corporate partner Rob Schlein.

It is understood CMS is acting for CityFibre with a team including London corporate partner Paul Blackmore.

Last year, the broadband company agreed a strategic partnership with Vodafone to roll out fast-fibre broadband to one million homes by 2021, with an option to extend the plan to a further four million homes by 2025.

CityFibre chairman Chris Stone said the deal would strengthen the company’s ability to achieve this goal. “Under private ownership, CityFibre will be able to gain alternative and potentially easier access to the financing required for its announced fibre broadband deployment. This will strengthen the company’s ability to deliver on its vision to provide full-fibre infrastructure to 20% of the UK market.”