Wednesday 13 December 2017

Billionaire family aids subsea fibre-optic cable between Ireland and France

Dirk Ziff of Ziff Capital Partners
Dirk Ziff of Ziff Capital Partners
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

A New York firm backed by the multi-billionaire US Ziff family has agreed to help bankroll the construction of a new subsea fibre-optic cable between Ireland and France.

The investment firm - Tiger Infrastructure Partners - has inked the deal with Cork company Ireland-France Subsea Cable (IFSC).

The new 565km cable - called IFC-1 - will be the first direct subsea cable between Ireland and France. It will provide ultra-high capacity transmission to telecoms carriers, internet companies and large corporations in Ireland looking for connectivity to continental Europe. The cable will land in Brittany and is due to be in service by late 2018.

"The massive growth of Ireland's data centre industry and the requirement for resilient telecommunications infrastructure has created the need for a new, direct route to continental Europe," said Michael Cunningham, chairman of IFSC.

IFSC was founded in 2015 by Mr Michael Cunningham and Doug Cunningham.

A former hedge fund analyst, Michael Cunningham was also ceo of Arctic Fibre, a company developing a $620m (€583m) subsea cable project between Japan and the UK, with spurs into 14 Arctic communities, as well as Cork.

The company was acquired last year by Alaskan firm Quintillion Subsea.

Doug Cunningham is a telecoms entrepreneur and founder of Arctic Fibre.

Ireland is a base for significant international data centre operations, with multinationals such as Google, Amazon, Facebook and Microsoft having data centres here.

The Ziff family is the anchor investor in Tiger Infrastructure Partners. Dirk Ziff, the managing partner of Ziff Capital Partners, is a senior adviser to it.

The Ziff fortune was initially made in publishing, but the brothers who inherited it have invested in a range of asset classes, from equities, debt and property to commodities.

Irish Independent

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