Cellnex sells stake in units in Sweden, Denmark for $772 million to Stonepeak
MADRID (Reuters), it – Spanish mobile phone tower operator Cellnex said on Friday it sold a 49% stake in its Swedish and Danish units to infrastructure investor Stonepeak for 730 million euros ($772.49 million) as part of efforts to reduce its debt.
Cellnex will keep a 51% stake in the holding company that owns all of its businesses in Denmark and Sweden, while Stonepeak will own the remainder, Cellnex said in a statement.
The deal is locked for five years after which each company will have preemptive rights to buy if the other seeks to sell, Cellnex said, adding that after the eighth year Cellnex will have the right to buy back the assets and Stonepeak will have the right to sell to a third party.
The market reacted positively to the news, sending the share price 4.2% up in early trading.
Earlier this year, Cellnex said it was shifting its strategy away from the aggressive acquisitions of mobile phone mast networks that made it one of the top players in Europe and focus instead on reducing its debt and obtaining an investment grade from the main rating agencies by the end of next year.
The deal will not change the overall company’s balance sheet, but will have a significant impact on the path to investment grade, Jefferies said in a note to investors.
The transaction is expected to be completed by the first quarter of next year.
Investment bank Nomura, Guggenheim Securities and law firm Herbert Smith Freehills advised Stonepeak, while AZ Capital and Baker and McKenzie advised Cellnex.
($1 = 0.9450 euros)
(Reporting by Inti Landauro; additional reporting by Matteo Allievi; Editing by Susan Fenton and Christina Fincher)