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Ariane.Network, one of the main fibre optic network operators in the south of France serving private companies and local authorities, has been acquired by Celeste, a national B2B telecom operator.

Aurignac Finance has advised SAEM E-TERA, in which the Departmental Council of Tarn is the main shareholder, in the disposal of 100% of its subsidiary Ariane.Network. Based in Albi (South of France), Ariane.Network, whose activity is historically related to the digital infrastructure development of the Tarn, offers telecom and digital services to private and public companies. The company deploys high-performance infrastructures including its own 800 km highspeed fibre optic network and a new-generation ecological datacenter “Fil d’Ariane” also included in the transaction.

Ariane.Network achieved a turnover of 9 million euros and has 56 experienced employees with a strong expertise and a recognized know-how, enabling to off er the best quality of services to its customers.

Aurignac Finance perfectly met the selling shareholders’ challenges and expectations, through its connection to the

market and its experience of mid-cap transactions, by setting up a competitive process and targeting the most relevant players with regards to the company’s assets.

This disposal, quite rare from local authorities’ shareholders shows our will to adapt and best meet the territorial interests while refocusing on our public services. Aurignac Finance has extensively contributed to this transaction enabling to ensure a bright future for the company and has been efficient to guarantee shareholders’ interest throughout the process” (Christophe Ramond, President of the Tarn Departmental Council).

For Celeste, a B2B operator specialized in fibre optic network and telecom solutions, run by Nicolas Aubé and owned mainly by Infravia Fund, this transaction is part of an expansion strategy of its national coverage. “This new operation [the fourth acquisition in six months] confirms Celeste’s ambition to become the leading alternative operator for companies in the French market. Ariane.Network has a skilled team and will strengthen the regional network of Celeste in the south-west of France” Nicolas Aubé (Founding Chairman of Celeste).

In its new scope, Celeste should generate over €58M of revenues, and deploy a 5800km high-speed fibre optic network, with 85 Pops and a portfolio of 8500 clients.

The B2B telecom market benefits from good growth perspectives for the next years. Dynamic players manage to deploy themselves on this market facing the major telecom operators, by offering proximity and high-quality of service to their customers. Celeste is part of the market consolidators, the group has succeeded in meeting E-TERA shareholders’ expectations and has quickly positioned as a relevant player, able to offer good perspectives to Ariane.Network that becomes its regional development center in Occitanie” (Christine de Briganti, Partner at Aurignac Finance).