Cellnex, a Barcelona, Spain-based operator of wireless telecommunications infrastructures listed on the continuous market of the Spanish stock exchange, is to acquire Portuguese telecommunications towers and sites operator Omtel from Altice Europe and Belmont Infra Holding’s, for an equivalent enterprise value of € 800m.
The acquisition comprises the roll out 400 sites in the next 4 years.
Cellnex plans to expand the program with 350 additional sites until 2027. The estimated investment for this build to suit plan –contracted and expected– is € 140m.
Omtel currently operates 3,000 sites in Portugal, which becomes the eighth country with Cellnex operations in Europe. The Portuguese company manages a portfolio of sites that account for around 25% of the telecommunications towers on the market.
Cellnex Telecom is an operator of wireless telecommunications and broadcasting infrastructures with a portfolio of c.58,000 sites including forecast roll-outs up to 2027. The company operates in Spain, Italy, Netherlands, France, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Ireland and now Portugal. Its business is structured in four major areas: telecommunication infrastructures services; audiovisual broadcasting networks; security and emergency service networks and solutions for smart urban infrastructure and services management (Smart cities and the Internet of Things (IoT)).
Shareholders include ConnecT, with a 29.9% stake in the share capital, as well as CriteriaCaixa, Blackrock, Wellington Management Group and Canada Pension Plan, holding smaller stakes.
The timing of this operation further coincides with the imminent arrival of 5G which, as in the other markets in which Cellnex operates, will require network densification and an efficient roll-out.
In the first half of 2019, Cellnex signed long-term strategic collaboration agreements with Iliad – in France and Italy – and with Salt in Switzerland to acquire 10,700 sites (5,700 in France, 2,200 in Italy and 2,800 in Switzerland) and roll out a construction (BTS) program of 4,000 new sites up to 2027 (2,500 in France and 1,000 in Italy for Iliad, and 500 for Salt in Switzerland) with a total planned investment of close to € 4 billion (2.7 billion for the acquisition of sites and 1.35 billion for BTS programs).
In June, Cellnex and BT announced that they had signed a long-term strategic collaboration agreement through which the company acquired the operation and marketing rights of 220 tall telecoms towers in the UK.
In September, Cellnex acquired Cignal in Ireland, one of the main Irish telecommunications infrastructure operators, for a total of € 210m. Cignal operates 546 sites in Ireland.
In October, the company acquired the Telecommunications division of the English company Arqiva for around 2 billion pounds. The operation involves purchasing 7,400 owned sites and acquiring the marketing rights of some 900 sites in the United Kingdom. It also includes concessions for the use of urban fixtures for the deployment in 14 districts of London for telecommunications infrastructure, a key resource for the densification and roll-out of 5G. The finalization of the operation – subject to the competition authorities obtaining the corresponding administrative authorisations, and other supensive conditions – is planned for the second half of 2020.
In December, Cellnex announced the acquisition of 1,500 sites from Orange Spain involving an investment of € 260 million. These are towers and antennas that Cellnex will operate and that Orange will continue to use for an initial period of ten years, extendible for a further ten years and successive periods of one year.