Abertis announces IPO of €3.5bn Cellnex Telecom subsidiary

Spanish infrastructure player Abertis has formally announced the IPO of its telecoms operations, a manoeuvre made possible by spinning it off to form the wholly-owned subsidiary – Cellnex Telecom – at the start of this month.

Abertis apparently values Cellnex in the €2.3-2.8 billion range and it carries around €1 billion of debt. Abertis is intending to offer 55% of Cellnex to the public (in this case institutional shareholders only), with an over-allotment option of an additional 5.5%,thus remaining a significant minority shareholder.

Cellnex’s business is mainly telecoms towers, with the recent purchase of 7,377 towers from WIND in Italy for €693 million adding to a similar quantity owned in Spain, to make it one of the largest networking infrastructure owners in Europe. In 2014 57% of the company’s revenue came from broadcasting infrastructure, 24% from telecom site rental and 19% from network services.

“Cellnex Telecom is perfectly suited to live as an independent listed company and the IPO will help accelerate the Company’s continued growth,” said Francisco Reynés, CEO of Abertis. “As the recent agreement with WIND in Italy has demonstrated, the market dynamics for an independent infrastructure operator in the European telecoms sector are very favourable and Cellnex Telecom is well placed to capitalise on them.”

“Since we started operating in 2000 (at that time as Retevision and later Abertis Telecom), we have grown to become the leading independent infrastructure operator for wireless broadcasting telecommunications in Europe, with a strong platform for growth,” said Tobias Martinez, Cellnex CEO.

“Our diversified and highly visible revenue streams, healthy pipeline of growth opportunities and experienced management team place us in an optimal position to continue our rapid growth trajectory. Looking ahead, we are seeing significant potential for growth in telecom site outsourcing in Europe with very favourable underlying market dynamics.”

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