Arqiva closes £2BN sale of telecoms division | Mobile | News | Rapid TV News
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In a deal involving around 7,400 sites and the right to market about 900 sites spread across the UK, communications infrastructure company Arqiva Group has reached an agreement with Cellnex Telecom for the sale of its telecoms infrastructure and related assets.
arqiva telecoms 8Oct2019
Arqiva’s Telecoms division supports UK mobile network operators (MNOs) in delivering and extending nationwide mobile coverage, as well as the rollout out of 5G technology and small-cells. Pan-European, Spain-based tower operator Cellnex already has sites in the UK in addition to those in Ireland, Spain, Italy, France, Switzerland and the Netherlands.

The acquisition, which has an enterprise value of £2.0 billion, follows Cellnex’s previously announced long-term strategic agreement with BT in June 2019, whereby it obtained the rights to operate and market 220 high towers located throughout the UK.

Arqiva says that the majority of the sale proceeds will be used to pay down debt in its capital structure, securing the long-term sustainability and financial security of the UK’s broadcast infrastructure. It added that with around 1,500 broadcast transmission sites in the UK and five teleports, it still leads in the provision of end-to-end network solutions for TV and radio customers, international content owners and data network providers. Customers include major UK and international broadcasters such as the BBC, ITV, Sky and Turner Broadcasting.

Commenting on the sale, Arqiva CEO Simon Beresford-Wylie said: “This agreement provides both stability and a focus for our future as we concentrate on the provision of broadcast infrastructure, end-to-end
networks and connectivity solutions for our TV and radio customers, international content owners, data network providers and utilities...I am confident [Cellnex] will be an excellent owner for the business. I am sure that it will continue to go from strength to strength under their stewardship.”

Cellnex CEO Tobias Martinez added: “The Arqiva telecoms division acquisition is a key milestone for Cellnex. Its strong UK asset-base, revenues and financial profile, combined with its long history at the heart of UK digital infrastructure, make it a perfect addition to our operations...It provides a significant opportunity for the development of a mobile network fit to match the country’s ambitions.”

The transaction has been approved by the boards of Arqiva and Cellnex and is expected to close during the second half of 2020, subject to clearance from the regulatory authorities.