Cellnex tables bid for Deutsche Telekom towers business

Europe’s largest mobile phone tower operator Cellnex has reportedly offered Deutsche Telekom a stake in its business as part of a deal for its towers unit. 

According to sources cited by Reuters, the Spanish Cellnex has offered a stake of less than 10%, with the deal valued at about €18 billion.

The companies already have an existing relationship, with DT and Cellnex combining their Dutch tower business last year. This JV is 62% controlled by Cellnex, which manages more than 137,000 tower sites across Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, France and Austria.

Cellnex is facing competition for the business from a consortium led by KKR which would allow DT to retain control of the towers unit. This offer, which is backed by investment firms Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) and Stonepeak, would give the consortium control over the towers business’s corporate governance, meaning that DT would need to compromise on key strategic decisions. 

One party no longer interested in a deal with DT is Vodafone, which has abandoned a plan to combine its own German towers business – Vantage Towers – with that of DT. 

Cellnex meanwhile is also in the midst of a deal to buy CK Hutchison’s towers assets, with British regulators requiring it to first sell at least 1,000 mobile phone towers in the UK. This transaction is expected to close in H2, and is serving as a blueprint for the proposed DT deal with CK Hutchison taking a 5% stake in Cellnex.

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