GIC buys 2.5% stake Cellnex worth $638 million

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GIC, the Singaporean wealth investment fund, has agreed to buy a 2.5% stake in European towerco Cellnex from Edizione.

According to Reuters, the deal between GIC and Edizione, the Benetton family’s investment firm, is worth approximately €542 million ($638 million) and will increase GIC’s overall shareholding in Cellnex to 8.07% from a previous 5.57%.

At the same time, Edizione has also agreed to sell a further 0.98% stake in Cellnex to three other unnamed investors.

The news comes as Cellnex announced plans for a €7 billion capital increase.

In the a statement, Cellnex confirmed that “the proceeds from the capital increase to finance a portfolio of projects of up to c. €18 billion in the 18 months following completion of the capital increase, of which €9 billion has already been committed for the announced acquisitions of Polkomtel Infrastruktura in Poland and Hivory in France and the integration of Deutsche Telekom's sites in the Netherlands”.

The Benetton family has said it would not participate in the capital increase.

“...In several countries, such as France, we had already entered into agreements to deploy and operate the fibre backbone and backhaul; to manage 'data centres' (voice and data traffic concentrators) that will be part of the 5G 'edge computing' ecosystem; or to operate distributed antenna systems (DAS) in sports venues, hospitals, transport networks such as the recent agreement with Network Rail for the London-Brighton corridor in the United Kingdom, etc,” said Tobias Martinez, chief executive officer of Cellnex.

“It undoubtedly is a qualitative leap and gives place to a new reality that broadens the development and growth options for Cellnex in Europe within telecommunications infrastructures.”