Vodafone sets wheels in motion for tower IPO - Mobile World Live

Vodafone sets wheels in motion for tower IPO

24 FEB 2021

Vodafone Group kicked off the formal process for a money-spinning IPO of infrastructure business Vantage Towers, with the shares expected to begin trading on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange before the end of next month.

The stock market announcement detailing its intent to list a minority stake in the unit follows more than two years of work to separate its European tower assets into a standalone business and develop the new company.

During that period it has also added to its portfolio forming deals with rival operators and moving its share of some joint ventures into the new company.

Its assets comprise 82,000 macro sites across ten countries, including those it co-owns as part of UK JV Cornerstone and its Inwit venture with Telecom Italia.

Vantage Towers and its partners are in the process of constructing 550 new macro sites, expected to be complete by end-March, with commitments to build a further 7,100 with associates in the subsequent five years.

The company noted it had the potential to increase business with its existing customer base and diversify into related areas such as provision of fibre backhaul, IoT infrastructure and edge computing.

Vantage Towers CEO Vivek Badrinath said the IPO “sets the foundations for the next stage of our growth within the dynamic towers industry,” adding it planned to build on its position as one of the leading infrastructure players on the continent.

Although no pricing details were divulged in the initial filing, sources cited by Bloomberg earlier this week estimated the float would raise €15 billion.

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Chris Donkin

Chris joined the Mobile World Live team in November 2016 having previously worked at a number of UK media outlets including Trinity Mirror, The Press Association and UK telecoms publication Mobile News. After spending 10 years in journalism, he moved...

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