Vodafone Group unveiled plans to add its stake in a UK tower joint venture with Telefonica into its standalone European infrastructure company, as it seeks to grow assets owned by the new business ahead of a planned IPO.

Alongside revealing plans to move its half of Cornerstone Telecommunications Infrastructure (CTIL) into Vantage Towers, Vodafone said it and Telefonica had signed new long-term contracts with the JV.

The extended deal is for eight years from the start of 2021, with three additional renewal periods of the same term included.

In a statement on the extension, Telefonica UK noted the agreement gave both operators the opportunity to “monetise the asset”.

CTIL operates 14,200 macro and 1,400 micro sites in the UK with a commitment to add 1,200 more macro sites by the end of its 2025 financial year (end-March 2025).

IPO preparations
Since announcing its intention to move European tower assets into a separate company, eventually branded Vantage Towers, Vodafone has been working to include its various stakes in joint ventures in the new business.

The company plans to IPO the business later this year and is already marketing the business as one of the leading players in its sector in Europe.

Adding Cornerstone takes Vantage Towers’ portfolio to 82,000 macro sites across ten of Vodafone’s markets, though this figure includes assets it co-owns in the UK and within its Inwit venture with Telecom Italia.