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  • 22 Apr 2020
  • ·
  • M&A

The CMA has cleared the acquisition of Arqiva’s Telecommunications division by Cellnex

  • In its decision, the UK’s Competition and Market Authority (CMA) stated that it found that the operation does not raise competition concerns that could affect the normal development of the telecommunications infrastructure market in the United Kingdom.
  • Last October, Cellnex announced that it was to acquire 100% of the new company resulting from the carve-out of Arqiva’s Telecommunications division. The deal, involving a £2 billion investment, was subject to mandatory authorisation by the CMA as a regulatory body for competition, among other conditions.
  • The operation involves acquiring c. 7,400 sites and the marketing rights of c. 900 sites spread across the UK.
  • Following the CMA’s authorisation, it is estimated that the operation will have been closed by next summer.

Barcelona, 22 April 2020.- Cellnex today learned of the favourable decision by the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) regarding the project to acquire Arqiva’s telecommunications division. The project was announced in October 2019 and will involve an investment of £2 billion.

In an official statement to the media, the CMA “found that the deal does not raise competition concerns in the supply of large telecommunication infrastructure like mobile towers and pylons [for voice and data].” It also underlined that after integrating Arqiva’s telecommunications division “Cellnex will continue to face competition from several other independent providers” operating on the UK market.

“The green light from the CMA is a crucial and decisive boost for the final closure of the acquisition of Arqiva’s Telecommunications division over the coming months and is aligned with the forecasts with which we were working when we announced the operation,” said Cellnex CEO Tobias Martinez.

“This acquisition is a key milestone for Cellnex”, continued the CEO. “Its strong UK asset-base, revenues and financial profile, combined with its long history at the heart of UK digital infrastructure, make it a perfect addition to our UK-based operations.

The UK has always been a core component of Cellnex’s inorganic expansion plans in Europe. This deal is further proof of this, and of the company’s confidence in the UK market which, once the operation is concluded, will become one of Cellnex’s principal operations.

“It provides a significant opportunity to support the extension of a mobile network fit to match the country’s ambitions” he added. “We are ideally placed to bring our operational expertise and innovative approach to bear in a context where the Government and regulators are looking to encourage greater connectivity for all citizens and businesses through network development.”  

About Cellnex Telecom

Cellnex Telecom is Europe’s leading operator of wireless telecommunications and broadcasting infrastructures with a portfolio of 61,000 sites including forecast roll-outs up to 2027. Cellnex operates in Spain, Italy, Netherlands, France, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Ireland and Portugal.

Cellnex’s business is structured in four major areas: telecommunication infrastructures services; audiovisual broadcasting networks; security and emergency service networks and solutions for smart urban infrastructure and services management (Smart cities and the Internet of Things (IoT)).

The company is listed on the continuous market of the Spanish stock exchange and is part of the selective IBEX 35 and EuroStoxx 600 indices. It is also part of the FTSE4GOOD and CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project) and “Standard Ethics” sustainability indexes.

Cellnex’s reference shareholders include ConnecT, with a 29.9% stake in the share capital, as well as CriteriaCaixa, Blackrock, Wellington Management Group and Canada Pension Plan, holding smaller stakes.

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