ROME--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Linkem S.p.A. (“Linkem”), the leading provider of fixed wireless broadband services in Italy, today announced a €100 million equity investment from funds managed by BlackRock, Inc. (NYSE: BLK) (“BlackRock”) on behalf of its clients and existing investors, including Leucadia National Corporation (NYSE: LUK) (“Leucadia”) and Cowen Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: COWN) (“Cowen”), to accelerate growth as it expands its LTE ultrabroadband fixed wireless network across Italy.
This investment will bring the total equity capital invested in Linkem to over €500 million, representing one of the largest examples of recent foreign direct investment into Italy.
“We are excited to have BlackRock’s support and we appreciate the increased commitment from our existing shareholders,” said Davide Rota, CEO of Linkem. “This financing round provides all the equity capital needed to achieve our near-term goals to cover 80% of Italian households and deliver ultrabroadband services to millions of subscribers, validating Linkem’s objective of providing simple, affordable, high-speed internet access across Italy.”
With over 400,000 subscribers and more than 2,000 cell sites, Linkem’s ultrabroadband fixed wireless network currently covers over 60% of the Italian population, and provides service in 18 of the 20 top metropolitan areas in Italy, including Rome, Florence, Palermo, Bari, Turin and Naples. Utilizing LTE fixed wireless technology and Linkem’s portfolio of dedicated, nationwide 3.5 GHz spectrum, the Company can deploy an ultrabroadband network at a fraction of the cost and time required for a comparable fiber system.
“We are pleased to become a partner in Linkem with Leucadia and Cowen on behalf of our clients. Linkem has a compelling market opportunity in Italy and a proven track record of growth. We look forward to the company’s continued drive to meet its commercial objectives and the benefits they will provide to the Italian consumer,” said Patrick Riordan, Managing Director at BlackRock Private Markets.
About Linkem S.p.A.
Linkem, the fastest growing broadband provider in Italy, is transforming the Italian broadband market by building and providing a high-value, ultrafast Fiber-To-The-Wireless broadband alternative. Linkem provides service to over 400,000 subscribers across its LTE-based, fixed wireless ultrabroadband network, utilizing its dedicated, nationwide 3.5 GHz spectrum. Presently Linkem’s network of more than 2,000 cell sites covers over 60% of the Italian population. Linkem is headquartered in Rome, and has offices in Florence and Milan as well as two company-owned call centers in Bari and Taranto, and today has over 700 employees. For additional information, visit www.linkem.com.
About BlackRock, Inc.
BlackRock is a global leader in investment management, risk management and advisory services for institutional and retail clients. At September 30, 2016, BlackRock’s AUM was $5.1 trillion. BlackRock helps clients around the world meet their goals and overcome challenges with a range of products that include separate accounts, mutual funds, iShares® (exchange-traded funds), and other pooled investment vehicles. BlackRock also offers risk management, advisory and enterprise investment system services to a broad base of institutional investors through BlackRock Solutions®. As of September 30, 2016, the firm had approximately 13,000 employees in 30 countries and a major presence in global markets, including North and South America, Europe, Asia, Australia and the Middle East and Africa. For additional information, please visit the Company’s website at www.blackrock.com | Twitter: @blackrock_news | Blog: www.blackrockblog.com | LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/blackrock
About Leucadia National Corporation
Leucadia National Corporation is a diversified holding company that invests in a broad array of businesses. The Company’s financial services businesses and investments include investment banking and capital markets (Jefferies), asset management (Leucadia Asset Management), foreign exchange trading services (FXCM), real estate (HomeFed), commercial mortgage banking and servicing (Berkadia), and vehicle finance (Foursight and Chrome). The Company’s merchant banking businesses and investments include beef processing (National Beef), a diversified holding company (HRG), oil and gas exploration and production (Vitesse Energy and Juneau Energy), automobile dealerships (Garcadia), manufacturing (Idaho Timber), telecommunication services in Italy (Linkem), and a gold and silver mine (Golden Queen).
About Cowen Group, Inc.
Cowen Group, Inc. is a diversified financial services firm and, together with its consolidated subsidiaries, provides alternative asset management, investment banking, research, sales and trading and prime brokerage services through its two business segments: Ramius and its affiliates make up the Company’s alternative investment segment, while Cowen and Company, a member of FINRA and SIPC, and its affiliates make up the Company’s broker-dealer segment. Ramius provides alternative asset management solutions to a global client base and manages a significant portion of Cowen’s proprietary capital. Cowen and Company and its affiliates offer industry focused investment banking for growth-oriented companies, domain knowledge-driven research, a sales and trading platform for institutional investors and a comprehensive suite of prime brokerage services. Founded in 1918, the firm is headquartered in New York and has offices worldwide. For additional information, visit www.cowen.com.