KPN struck an agreement with pension fund ABP to create a new tower company, a move the Dutch operator claimed was part of a strategy to optimise the value of infrastructure assets while operating the best digital infrastructure in the country.

The operator stated the TowerCo JV will own and operate 3,800 towers and rooftop sites in the Netherlands, representing KPN’s passive mobile infrastructure assets as well as those of ABP’s portfolio company OTC.

As part of the agreement, the TowerCO JV will also control Novec, an infrastructure provider owned by Dutch electric grid company TenneT.

In total TowerCo will control around 60 per cent of KPN’s mobile infrastructure, and the duo have also entered into a master services agreement under which the operator will continue to be a tenant of the tower company for the next 20 years.

In addition, it has agreed a ten year built-to-suit commitment covering the deployment of new sites.

KPN will hold a 51 per cent stake in TowerCo, while ABP will own the remaining 49 per cent. KPN has also agreed to pay Novec and OTC shareholders €120 million in cash.

In its statement, KPN explained that with increasing consumption of data and deployment of new technologies, “there is an increasing need for strong and stable grid of mobile sites providing continuous coverage in the Netherlands”.

“Following ongoing demand for network growth and densification, increasing direct exposure to Dutch passive telecom infrastructure is strategically imperative for KPN,” it added.

KPN’s TowerCo play will compete with Cellnex Netherlands, established in 2021 when it combined assets with T-Mobile.