Cellnex releases 101.4 million new shares for equity raise
Cellnex has announced plans to issue 101.4 million new shares to fund a multi-million Euro, Europe-wide acquisition strategy.
Building on a series of acquisitions since the company went public in 2015, the issue is intended to raise €4 billion. According to the Financial Times it would be the largest European equity offering this year.
Confirmed in its latest financial results – also released this week – Cellnex has seen a five-fold growth and a cumulative appreciation of 366% in its share price since 2015. The new shares will be offered at a 30% discount on Wednesday’s closing price, with existing shareholders given first refusal.
Speaking to shareholders on Wednesday, CEO Tobias Martinez (pictured left with chair Franco Bernabè on the right) shared the financial highlights of 2020 year to date.
Over this time, “all the indicators continue to reflect the notable expansion of the group’s perimeter after the acquisitions of 2019 and the first few months of 2020”. Cellnex reported growth of 48% in revenue (€723 million), 64% in EBITDA (equivalent €527 million), and 54% in recurring free cash flow when compared to 1H 2019.
Martinez said: “Two capital increases totalling €3.7 billion; investment commitments of over seven billion for a company with one billion in revenue; 95% appreciation on the stock market; and not losing our focus and attention on day-to-day management.
“Taken separately, each of these are in themselves extraordinary factors in the activity of any company; but together, they are quite exceptional and singular. This growth has allowed us to consolidate the group’s position in the markets in which we already operated (Spain, France, Italy, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands), while continuing to expand our geographical presence in Europe by incorporating two new countries – Ireland and Portugal – into the project.”
Over the last five years, the Spanish infrastructure operator has committed to more than €14 billion in growth in acquisitions and sites by 2027, leading it to manage a portfolio of more than 61,000 telecommunications sites in Europe, including forecast roll–outs up to 2027.
Cellnex’s closed deals in 2019 included:
A long-term strategic collaboration agreement announced in H1 with Iliad – in France and Italy – and with Salt in Switzerland, to acquire 10,700 sites and roll out a construction programme of 4,000 new sites up to 2027.
A long-term strategic collaboration agreement between Cellnex and BT in June, through which Cellnex acquired the operation and marketing rights of 2019 tall telecoms towers in the UK.
The acquisition of the telecoms department of Arqiva for around £2 billion, involving the acquisition of 7,400 property sites and the marketing rights to some 900 sites in the UK.
The September acquisition of Cignal in Ireland for €210 million. Cignal operates 546 sites in Ireland, and the company expects to roll out a further 600 new sites up to 2026, with an additional investment estimated at €60 million.
The December 2019 acquisition of 1,500 sites from Orange Spain with an investment of €260 million.
Year to date, Cellnex has announced its intention to purchase Portuguese telecommunications tower and site operator OMTEL for €800 million; a €1 billion agreement to 2027 with Bouygues Telecom to deploy a 31,500 km fibre optic network to support and speed up the roll-out of 5G; and the acquisition of NOS Towering in Portugal with an initial investment of approximately €375 million.
This month Cellnex acquired 100% of Finnish start-up Edzcom, specialised in private LTE networks.
Cellnex said the overall investment of all these projects, to be rolled out up to 2027, is in excess of €10.2 billion.