Cellnex opens door to Telefonica tower deal - Mobile World Live

Cellnex opens door to Telefonica tower deal

20 NOV 2020

Cellnex CEO Tobias Martinez reportedly indicated the company would be interested in acquiring Telefonica’s mobile tower business, as part of an ongoing aggressive M&A strategy to expand its presence in Europe.

Hot on the heels after securing a €10 billion deal to acquire CK Hutchison’s tower assets across six European markets earlier this month, Reuters reported Martinez appeared to turn his attentions to a potential investment in Telefonica’s tower unit Telxius.

The Cellnex chief, speaking at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media and Telecom conference, was responding to comments made by Telefonica COO Angel Vila, who said the same event the operator would consider parting ways with a stake in Telxius.

Martinez said it he would be interested in finding a way to cooperate on investing in Telxius, but added no talks had taken place so far.

He continued to state it was his wish “to acquire the towers of all of the telecom operators…it’s my core business”.

Vila had earlier said Telefonica would consider reducing its stake in Telxius to less than half as a way to allow the subsidiary to do more deals and expand.

“If you have restriction on leverage that independent towercos don’t have, it is very difficult to grow inorganically,” said Vila.

Orange competition
Should Telefonica advance its ambitions to cash in on its tower business, Cellnex could face competition from Orange.

Last week, the operator’s CEO Stephane Richard urged operators to be smarter with their tower businesses, opening the door to potential partnerships and establishing pan-European plays.

In comments to Financial Times, he said operators should be smarter than “just selling your towers to Cellnex”.

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Kavit Majithia

Kavit joined Mobile World Live in May 2015 as Content Editor. He started his journalism career at the Press Association before joining Euromoney’s graduate scheme in April 2010. Read More >>

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