Telefonica set up a  firm called Telxius to house its global infrastructure assets, with a brief to get involved with growth opportunities “including the possibility of incorporating third party assets”.

The business will be headed by Alberto Horcajo, currently CFO at Telefonica Brasil.

Initial assets include around 15,000 Telefonica telecommunication towers in Spain and other countries, as well as the Telefonica Group’s international network of 31,000 km of submarine fibre optic cable.

The creation of Telxius “is part of the optimisation strategy for the Telefónica Group asset portfolio,” the operator said, and will enable the management of the Telefónica Group’s infrastructure on a global scale with a more specialised and focused approach.

The idea is to offer more services to other operators, as well as improve the return on capital invested. In addition, the new move will allow Telxius “to participate in the growth opportunities that exist in the industry, including the possibility of incorporating third party assets”, which seems like a reference to M&A possibilities for the new firm.

In addition to is domestic towers and international undersea cable, Telefonica also has a backbone network connecting more than 40 countries in Europe and the Americas, including the US.

“Over the coming months, a number of newly created companies, including the aforementioned assets, will be gradually integrated into Telxius,” said the statement.

Last month it was reported that Telefonica was working on a spin-off of its domestic infrastructure unit and could either list it or look for a trade buyer for a minority stake. A source placed a valuation of between €5 billion and €6 billion on the unit.

The current announcement regarding Telxius makes no mention of a potential sale or listing.

Telefonica previously sold more than 1,000 masts in its home market to Spanish infrastructure firm Cellnex several years ago.