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M&A tower activity ‘closed’, Cellnex exec says

Cellnex towers.jpg

The European mobile towers market is “pretty much closed” as inflation takes hold across Europe according to Tobias Martinez Gimeno, chief executive at Cellnex.

Gimeno told the Financial Times: “M&A activity is over. Material, inorganic growth for the next 24 months is over.”

There have been several tower deals taking place in Europe in recent months, but this is slowly coming to an end according to the exec.

Vodafone entered into a partnership with a consortium of infrastructure investors led by Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) and KKR for Vodafone’s 81.7% stake in Vantage Towers.

And in July, Cellnex exited the race for Deutsche Telekom’s towers unit. That race was won by Brookfield Asset Management and DigitalBridge Group.

The Spanish company already owns towers with Deutsche Telekom in Switzerland, the Netherlands and Germany and claims to own around 53,000 tower sites across Europe.

Despite the impact of inflation, Cellnex said earlier this year that it had hoped to own around 137,000 towers by 2030.

Cellnex even agreed to sell 1,100 sites last month in the UK to Wireless Infrastructure Group (WIG) as part of its plans to buy 6,000 passive infrastructure sites from CK Hutchinson for US$4 billion.

Yet Gimeno is adamant that further deals are not on the company’s agenda.

“Cellnex will focus its attention on reducing debt and limiting capital expenditure, among other things,” Gimeno added.