According to reports, the sale process could begin later this year
Spanish tower infrastructure giant Cellnex is considering the sale of the minority stake in its Nordic operations (Sweden and Denmark), anonymous sources told Reuters earlier this week.
According to the report, the firm is working with Spanish financial advisors AZ Capital to gauge potential interest in the operations, with the unit valued potentially valued at almost €1 billion.
At the end of the first quarter of this year, Cellnex operated 1,576 sites in Denmark and 2,906 in Sweden. The exact value of these sites, however, is difficult to calculate; in its financial reporting, Cellnex does not separate the financial details of its Swedish and Danish businesses, which are instead simply part if its ‘rest of Europe’ unit, including Netherlands, the UK, Switzerland, Ireland, Portugal, Austria, Denmark, Sweden, and Poland.
This ‘rest of Europe’ unit recorded EBITDA of €264 million in the first quarter of this financial year.
The rumours of a stake sale for the Nordic unit should not come as a great surprise, with Cellnex CEO Marco Patuano saying back in March that the company was “open to consider (selling) minority stakes, maybe even (to) local investors… which might be interested in order to invest in certain areas of Europe”.
After the announcement today , shares were up 4.7% this morning at €38.49.
After years of growth fuelled by various mergers and acquisitions — such as the takeover of CK Hutchinson’s European towers — Cellnex’s strategy has now shifted to focus on cutting debt, which stood at €17billion at the end of this year’s first quarter.
The firm operates around of 135,000 sites across Europe. Earlier this year, Cellnex acquired the final 30% of OnTower from Iliad for €510 million, taking Poland’s site total to around 15,000.
In related news, this week saw Cellnex acquire a €315 million loan from the European Investment Bank, funds they say will allow them to deploy additional sites and upgrade existing infrastructure in Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, and Poland.
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