Cellnex Telecom SA agreed to sell stakes in its units in Denmark and Sweden to Stonepeak for about €730 million ($772 million), part of a drive to raise funds to cut debt after borrowing costs surged.
(Bloomberg) — Cellnex Telecom SA agreed to sell stakes in its units in Denmark and Sweden to Stonepeak for about €730 million ($772 million), part of a drive to raise funds to cut debt after borrowing costs surged.
The agreement for a 49% stake in the units is expected to close in the first quarter of next year at the latest, Cellnex said in a regulatory filing Friday.
The deal marks the first divestment since Marco Patuano took over as chief executive officer of Europe’s largest telecommunications tower operator in June with a mandate to retool its strategy after years of growth fueled by acquisitions. While Patuano has signaled that reining in leverage is a priority, he has also said that the company could look to financial investors to help fund deals if needed.
Patuano said in July that Denmark and Sweden are two markets where consolidation is likely to happen but that the process would need a partner with “deep pockets.” The tower operator entered Denmark and Sweden after buying CK Hutchison Holding Ltd’s European towers in 2021.
Carriers in those markets have in recent years been looking to sell off towers assets.
Norway’s Telenor ASA, which is present in both Sweden and Denmark, is considering a sale of its towers as early as 2024. Sweden’s Telia Co AB has already been selling minority stakes and has flagged it could do more deals.
Since its initial public offering in 2015, Cellnex reaped the benefit of years of ultra-low interest rates and robust appetite from yield-hungry investors to fund deals. That dynamic ground to a halt once the European Central Bank embarked on a tightening cycle that took its deposit rate to a record level this month.
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