Cell­nex to buy deals from Mor­gan Stan­ley

The Punch - - BANKING PERSONAL -

CELL­NEX Tele­com SA, the Span­ish tower op­er­a­tor that has an­nounced about seven bil­lion eu­ros ($7.8bn) of ac­qui­si­tions since go­ing public in 2015, is mak­ing its first deal of the year with the pur­chase of as­sets in Por­tu­gal, Bloomberg re­ported.

Cell­nex, based in Barcelona, would acquire all of the tow­ers held in a joint ven­ture be­tween Altice Europe Nv, Mor­gan Stan­ley and Hori­zon Eq­uity Part­ners, ac­cord­ing to a reg­u­la­tory fil­ing Thurs­day. The ven­ture, known as OM­TEL, op­er­ated 3,000 sites across Por­tu­gal.

The deal would be paid for in cash and had an en­ter­prise value of 800 mil­lion eu­ros, ac­cord­ing to the state­ment. The as­sets, in­clud­ing the roll­out of 400 sites over the next four years, will add 2.5 bil­lion eu­ros to Cell­nex sales.

The trans­ac­tion sug­gests Euro­pean phone car­ri­ers look­ing to raise funds by mon­e­tiz­ing their tow­ers may con­tinue to find de­mand for the as­sets in 2020 as they did in 2019.

The steady, long-term cash-flow gen­er­ated by mast op­er­a­tors has at­tracted pri­vate eq­uity, in­fra­struc­ture funds, and other in­vestors.

It also marked a quick turn­around for the sell­ers. The joint ven­ture was formed less than 18 months ago when Mor­gan Stan­ley and Hori­zon ac­quired 75 per cent of Altice’s Por­tuguese tower unit for an en­ter­prise value of 660 mil­lion eu­ros.

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