The firm joins a long list of telcos trying to raise capital from the sale of infrastructure assets 

Virgin Media O2 (VMO2) have entered into exclusive talks to sell its stake in joint venture tower unit subsidiary Cornerstone (CTIL) to GLIL infrastructure. Reuters reports that, according to four anonymous sources, the deal could be worth £2.5 billion. 

GLIL emerged on top in an auction held earlier this year for a part of VMO2’s 50% stake in the towerco, with sources suggesting a deal could be finalised as early as next week. 

CTIL is the UK’s largest tower infrastructure firm, having around 20,000 sites across the UK, which include towers, rooftops, and small cells. 

VMO2, which is owned by Liberty Global and Telefónica, own a 50% share in CTIL, and the other half is owned by Vantage Towers (Vodafone). 

VMO2 is not alone in selling off its infrastructure to raise capital. Vodafone sold a stake in its Vantage Towers business in November last year to a new joint venture between KKR and Global Infrastructure Partners, dubbed Oak BidCo. Deutsche Telekom, similarly, also sold a majority stake in its tower business to Canada’s Brookfield Asset Management and US private equity firm DigitalBridge in a deal worth €17.5 billion. 

“All telcos are struggling to generate new forms of revenue. Margins continue to be squeezed due to the rollout of next-generation networks and people are reluctant to spend more on connectivity. We are in a golden era of connectivity. Therefore, it represents a good time, better than any, to sell off what was once a prized asset,” said PP Foresight telco analyst, Paolo Pescatore in a Data Centre Dynamics report. 

Keep up to date with the latest news on infrastructure sales by subscribing to the Total Telecom daily newsletter   

Also in the news:
KKR invests $400m into subsea cable firm OMS
Ofcom revises UK net neutrality rules
BT data shows over 500 potential cyberattacks take place every second