Cellnex, the Spanish infrastructure giant, which has built up a substantive presence across Europe in the last few years, has announced its plans to further expand its presence across the continent by 2030 – though M&A appears to be off the table for the time being
The company announced that it plans to spend €6.5 billion by 2030 to deploy 22,000 new sites across its 12 European markets, indicating a shift away from M&A activity following the recent failed attempt to acquire Deutsche Telekom’s towers portfolio in Germany and Austria, which was eventually purchased by investors DigitalBridge and Brookfield two weeks ago.
Cellnex had previously acquired sites across Europe at a rapid pace, including a €10bn deal to acquire CK Hutchinson’s European portfolio back in 2020. However, Cellnex are now pivoting to focus on consolidation and organic growth, with CEO Tobias Martinez indicating that the focus for the short term will be on potentially bolting on projects and smaller scale acquisitions, though he didn’t rule out a return to large-scale M&A if the opportunities were there.
While Cellnex lost out on DT’s tower portfolio, the company are in a strong position overall, posting revenues of €1.69bn in the first half of 2022, a 59% increase on the same period last year. While costs have also increased, this is expected given the growth of its portfolio across Europe. As the operator described, “the key financial indicators continue to reflect Cellnex’s expanded geographic footprint – after integrating the sites acquired in 2021 – and the strength of the Group’s organic business.”
As always with Europe’s passive infrastructure market – watch this space.
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