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Vodafone to transfer 50% stake in UK tower company, Cornerstone

Vivek Badrinath Vodafone RESIZED.jpg

Vodafone Group UK subsidiary, Vodafone UK has confirmed plans to transfer its 50% shareholding in Cornerstone to Vantage Towers.

Vodafone UK and Telefonica UK Limited (TEF UK), collectively known as the anchor tenants, both announce the commercialisation of Cornerstone Telecommunications Infrastructure Limited (Cornerstone), a 50:50 owned joint venture company that owns and manages their passive tower infrastructure in the UK.

“Cornerstone is a great addition to the Vantage Towers portfolio. Cornerstone is exactly the type of high quality grid we like to own: a number one market position, and two strong anchor tenants with network sharing agreements in place for whom we are the preferred supplier,” said Vivek Badrinath (pictured), Vantage Towers chief executive.

“We look forward to working with our anchor tenants to power the UK's digital transformation, enabling the roll-out of 5G networks to benefit business and consumers and ensuring greater mobile coverage for all.”

Vodafone UK and TEF UK have each entered into long-term Master Services Agreements with Cornerstone. Each Master Services Agreement has initial terms of 8 years from 1 January 2021, with three 8-year renewal periods, and which position Cornerstone as a preferred supplier of new tower sites for both operators.

Vodafone plans on transferring its 50% stake in Cornerstone to Vantage Towers in January 2021 at which point Vantage benefits from Cornerstone’s portfolio of 14,200 macro sites and 1,400 micro sites.

Overall, the deal will extend Vantage Towers' portfolio to a total of approximately 82,000 macro sites as well as its geographic presence in Europe to 10 markets.

In addition, Adjusted FY20 pro forma adjusted EBITDA after Leases (Adjusted EBITDAaL) of £111 million, adds €62 million to Vantage Towers' pro forma aggregated Adjusted EBITDAaL based on its 50% shareholding in Cornerstone.

Vantage also gains previously made commitments for 1,200 new macro sites by FY25 and 1,950 new passive tenancies on existing sites by FY24, worth approximately approximately £17.5 million by FY26.

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