Iliad announced plans to sell €2 billion-worth of tower assets in France and Italy to infrastructure company Cellnex, as it looks to improve its cash position, and help fund continued 4G rollout and 5G launch.
The deal covers the sale of 70 per cent of subsidiary Iliad TowerCo, which runs Iliad’s passive infrastructure in its home market of France, and the entirety of Italian version Iliad Italia TowerCo.
Its agreement includes long-term service contracts for use of the sold assets and is slated for completion in Q4.
Iliad said the cash raised would strengthen its balance sheet as it looks to accelerate 4G and 5G network deployment, an aim outlined by the company’s chiefs at its latest annual results meeting.
The move comprises part of Iliad’s newly-unveiled 2024 Odyssey plan, a strategy to reshape the business after what the company admitted in a statement had been a difficult 2018, “marked by poor sales performances, a lack of forward thinking, and delays in adapting and executing our business strategy”.
Odyssey 2024 covers aims to revise its commercial strategy to improve efficiency; acquire further spectrum assets; step-up its fibre offering in France; and move into the enterprise segment following the completion of a deal for majority stake in Jaguar Network (announced in January).
In its home market, it aims to have 4.5 million fibre subscribers by the end of 2024, compared with the 1.1 million it had at end-March. Another target of the plan is to have 80 per cent of its mobile subscribers on unlimited 4G plans, up from 59 per cent on its most expensive mobile tariff at the end of Q1.
In Italy, the company aims to achieve €1.5 billion in annual revenue and reach EBITDA break-even in the “long term”.
The updates were unveiled alongside the company’s Q1 results, where it recorded revenue of €1.3 billion, up 7.7 per cent year-on-year, with the vast majority of the increase due to the addition of Iliad Italia, launched during Q2 2018.
In the recent quarter, mobile subscriber numbers in France continued to fall, with a net loss of 50,000 during Q1 as the company maintained concerted efforts to transition its base towards its more expensive unlimited plans.
By the end of March, its mobile base in its home market was 13.4 million. Its Italian operation added 472,000 mobile subscribers by the end of the period, bringing its total to 3.3 million.
The company did not reveal net income.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back