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Cellnex to buy 60% stake of TDF for €3bn

Tobias Martinez Gimeno Cellnex.jpg

Cellnex, a Spanish wireless infrastructure operator, is purportedly buying a 60% of French radio and TV services company, TDF for €3 billion.

According to the Spanish newspaper, Expansión, Cellnex just completed a capital increase of €1.2 billion for TDF, with the total amount of the transaction likely to reach €3 billion.

The deal is set to solidify Cellnex’s position as a leader in the European towers space. TDF currently has a portfolio of 13,900 sites, half of which are broadcasting towers while the rest are mobile towers.

Cellenx already has an existing presence in France through its various partnerships with Bouygues Telecom. Back in December 2018, Cellnex said that it was to invest up to €250 million building 88 “strategic telecom centres” – effectively edge computing centres – for Bouygues Telecom. By the year 2022, Cellnex will be managing around 5,000 sites, which will include new tower builds.

Cellnex CEO, Tobias Martinez Gimeno (pictured), previously described 2019 as a "year of activity" for the company. At the end of December Cellnex had 23,440 sites. Of these 8,589 are located in Spain, 8,308 in Italy and 6,543 in the Netherlands, France, the UK and Switzerland, with a further 1,592 distributed antenna system (DAS) and small cell nodes.

In related news, Thomas Reynaud, CEO of the operator Iliad confirmed that the group has begun the study of a possible association with an unnamed “fund of investment” for the operation of 5,700 mobile sites in France.

In other regions, Cellnex announced that it has strengthened its footprint in Switzerland, by entering into an agreement with the fibre-optic group Swiss Fiber Net (SFN). Under the terms of the agreement, SFN will connect Cellnex sites with fibre, amounting to approximately 2,460 mobile sites throughout the country. In addition, this allows Cellnex to offer its customers, mobile operators, an end-to-end solution, especially as fibre connectivity is a key requirement to support 5G speeds.

"The agreement with Swiss Fibre Net marks a further step in our strategy for establishing innovative multi-operator infrastructure solutions," said Peter Seiler, country manager at Cellnex Switzerland. "This agreement will enable us to implement key elements of the 5G ecosystem and thus offer our customers the best possible connectivity at high speeds and with unprecedented data volumes."

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