Broadband for the Rural North
Broadband for the Rural North (B4RN) is a growing rural broadband provider founded in 2011. It has connected around 5,000 properties to its own network of over 3,000km of fibre optic cables. Because it is a full fibre network, B4RN provides internet connections that are capable of being 30 times faster than super-fast broadband and hundreds of times faster than the slow upload speeds many rural communities currently have.
B4RN owns the network it has installed and so has a strong asset base which it uses to generate recurring revenues as the broadband provider for the communities. The majority of the network to date has been funded by local residents investing over £5 million in shares in the company.
B4RN operates in an area of high demand from customers and is providing new infrastructure which is a key part of the government’s future telecoms strategy.
As a community benefit society, no individual investor or company owns more than 100,000 shares and each member has only one vote, irrespective of the number of shares it or they own. Board members must be re-elected at least every three years and the company is run in the interests of its members and the communities it serves.
B4RN's profits are reinvested back into the community in a variety of ways, for example by providing internet to schools in its network free of charge.
B4RN seeks to raise £3m to fund the further expansion of its broadband network.
Currently community groups are required to raise up to 50% of the installation cost of the network through shares before B4RN can start working in the area. The additional capital raised will enable B4RN to roll out its network more quickly.
Before deciding whether to invest, you must read the B4RN offer document. The offer document can be downloaded at the bottom of this page.
B4RN bonds are eligible to be held in a Triodos Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA). As with all ISAs, there are eligibility criteria and you receive interest tax-free.
To invest in B4RN bonds through a Triodos IFISA, select the ‘Invest through IFISA’ option. This selection will open a current year IFISA and hold the bonds within it, or will add the bonds to your existing IFISA if you have opened one previously.
If you want to invest by transferring an existing ISA to a Triodos IFISA, you must first request the transfer. You can do this under ‘Account’ once you’ve become a registered user of the platform.
Broadband for the Rural North Limited (B4RN)
£3 million, with maximum capital raise of £5 million.
7 years. Repayment is due on 30 April 2026 but return of capital is not guaranteed. Investors should be prepared not to have access to their capital for the full 7-year term.
4.5% gross per year payable on 30 April from 2020. Payment of interest is not guaranteed. Interest will accrue from the date the bonds are issued, 14 days after the closing date.
The directors can, at their sole discretion, repay the bonds in part or in full with effect from 30 April 2022.
The bonds are unsecured, so bondholders will rank equally with B4RN’s other unsecured creditors and behind any secured creditors and preferential creditors on insolvency. For more details see page 33 of the offer document.
Limits apply on the amount of borrowing that B4RN can take on until the bonds are repaid in full. For more details see page 30 of the offer document.
The bonds are transferable but there is no secondary market for them, so you should be prepared to hold them for their full 7-year term.
The offer is scheduled to close at noon on 2 September 2019, unless the target has been reached or the offer is extended by the directors at their sole discretion.
The minimum raise of £1m has already been reached.
Past performance is not an indication of future performance. Capital is at risk and payment of interest is not guaranteed.
You can download the offer document without registering or logging in. If you click ‘Next step’ you will need to register.
4.5% per year